China holds parade, vows peace on war anniversary
Staged a grand parade on Thursday in Tian’anmen Square to mark the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and the end of World War II, China attracted the world’s attention by showing the aspiration for peace and its determination to safeguard post-war international order.
President Xi Jinping delivered a speech before the parade to call people to commemorate the hard-won peace after years of bloody war that had inflicted heavy losses on China and other countries.
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In honoring all the Chinese who perished in the war and those who have contributed to the victory in the deadly conflicts with Japan, the parade is a tribute to history and a call for peace, Xi said.
But he warned that the world is far from tranquil although peace and development have become the prevailing trend.
War is the sword of Damocles that still hangs over mankind. We must learn the lessons of history and dedicate ourselves to peace, he said.
Ravaging through Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, that war inflicted over 100 million military and civilian casualties. China suffered over 35 million casualties and the Soviet Union lost more than 27 million lives, Xi said.
The victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression is the first complete victory won by China in its resistance against foreign aggression in modern times.
This great triumph re-established China as a major country in the world and opened up bright prospects for the great renewal of the Chinese nation, Xi said.
Xi vowed that China will never seek hegemony or expansion no matter how much stronger it may become. He said the country will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected the troops after the speech.
On the Tian’anmen Square, Xi and the first lady Peng Liyuan welcomed honored guests, including 30 national leaders, to watch the parade which involved more than 12,000 military personel as well as veterans and their descendants. Seventeen foreign military teams also took part.
Leaders including Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moom witnessed the historical event.
1779 overseas Chinese from more than 120 countries and regions were invited, 5 of them were invited to watch the parade from the Tian’anmen Rostrum, including Chinese American physicist Paul Chu, and business tycoon Lucio Tan.
Opened with a helicopter flying by parading the national flag, the march past lasted for about 50 minutes. 20 military helicopters flew overhead forming the figure 70 to mark the 70th anniversary commemorations. Seven fighter jets flew past, making the world’s longest colored vapor trail.
After more than 300 veterans, including Kuomingtang veterans, and their descendants passed by in two vehicle formations, eleven formations of Chinese troops marched past, including 51 female honor guards. It was the first time female honor guards have joined a parade. More than 50 generals, with an average age of 53, leaded parade units.
Seventeen formations of foreign troops from 17 countries including Russia and Pakistan, marched past, before twenty-seven formations of armaments paraded.
This was the first time foreign military teams join in a Chinese military parade.
More than 500 pieces of China’s latest equipment were displayed, 84 percent of which have never been viewed by the public, many of which are among the world’s most advanced.
The navy displayed its latest anti-ship missiles, ship-to-air missiles and carrier-based aircraft, while the air force brought long-range bombers, fighters and airborne early warning and control (AEWC) aircraft.
The armaments on display also included the army’s newest helicopter gunships and battle tanks as well as intermediate-range conventional and strategic ballistic missiles from the Second Artillery Force.
The events ended with 10 air force formations flying over the square and doves and balloons being released.
China has held 15 military parades since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. In 1999 and 2009, grand military parades were held to celebrate the country’s 50th and 60th founding anniversary. This was the first parade not held on China’s National Day.
As it is an international convention to hold a parade to mark the victory day, China held the grand event with a theme of “remember history, cherish the memory of China’s revolutionary martyrs, uphold peace and create the future”.
By PENG YINING in Tian’anmen square (chinadaily.com.cn)
Obama’s absence at parade costs US chance to display leadership
Tomorrow, China will be holding a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in the World Anti-Fascist War. Dozens of global leaders or their special envoys have arrived in Beijing, save for US President Barack Obama or his high-level representative, who could have been a guest of honor at the ceremony.
The absence of the US president at such an important event is a pity. Washington’s move has also affected most Western European leaders, who decided to follow the US’ lead.
But Washington compromised, and will send US Ambassador to China Max Baucus to the parade, a gesture to show that the US will be present at the event. Washington clearly doesn’t want the absence of Obama or his high-level envoy to turn into media fodder.
While it is a pity, Obama’s absence will hardly affect Sino-US relations. Still, as former allies, China and the US have lost a chance to celebrate the victory they achieved together. How they fought side by side 70 years ago continues to be cherished by the Chinese, and the memory of that time has helped nurture a favorable impression of the US.
Geopolitics remains central to Washington’s decision-making process, and weighs heavily on US diplomatic policy. However, calculated moves do not always lead to a better decision. Washington’s ambivalence to Beijing’s invitation has cost itself a chance to display leadership across the Pacific Ocean, regardless of trivial gamesmanship and bickering in the region. The US seems unable to look at the big picture: The parade in Beijing is a righteous cause.
It is not hard to figure out why Obama or a special envoy will be absent. To some extent, the reasons are understandable. First, the US simply wants to show its support to Japan, which strongly opposes the parade and imagines itself as the target of the event. Second, the US dislikes such large parades in a non-Western country, considering it “muscle-flexing.” Third, as the US election approaches, presidential candidates try to earn brownie points with the electorate through China-bashing. The political climate in the US might have made Obama think twice.
To be honest, China never expected Obama to attend. But his “remedial work,” by asking Baucus to attend on his behalf, is weak.
Many China watchers have differing takes on the US’ attitude toward China’s parade. Some believe Baucus’ presence reaffirms an agreement between China and the US that both countries have no animosity towards each other. But some think Obama’s absence is much more complicated.
The Chinese have learned how to deal with narrow-mindedness, so they don’t actually mind whether Obama or a high-level official from Washington will attend. China’s open mind will help steer both countries away from unnecessary disputes
Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2015-9-2 21:11:50