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Rising China marks day of shame

(Global Times)

08:38, September 19, 2011

Chinese soldiers march in front of the "September 18 Museu" on Sunday in Shenyang, Liaoning Province during the memorial marking the 80th anniversary of the Japanese invasion. Photo: CFP

Cities across northeast China simultaneously sounded their air raid sirens on Sunday to mark the 80th anniversary of the Japanese invasion.

Pedestrians stopped and vehicles joined their horns to the chorus as the sirens began their plaintive wails for three minutes at 9:18 am in more than 100 cities in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

During the siren, Shenyang, Liaoning, suspended all television and radio broadcasts as a subtitle and audio recording went out with the message, "Never forget the national humiliation. Rejuvenate the nation."

Ahead of the sirens, more than 1,000 representatives from the central and local governments, the People's Liberation Army and various walks of life gathered at the "September 18 Museum" in Shenyang, where the Japanese army began its assault.

"I received a short message to remind Shenyang citizens of the anniversary," Zhu Feifei, an English teacher in Shenyang University of Technology, told the Global Times. "When the sirens started, I stood silently on the balcony. The atmosphere was solemn."

Similar scenes took place across the country.

In Chongqing, about 1,000 citizens chanted wartime songs Saturday. Japanese air forces bombed the city for nearly seven years during the war, killing more than 30,000 people.

While in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, people held an air defense exercise in the downtown area and in colleges on Sunday morning.

On September 18, 1931, Japanese troops bombarded Chinese army barracks near Shenyang, starting the armed invasion of Northeast China.

Four months later, Japanese troops rolled across the region, occupying territory 3.5 times larger than all of Japan.

The incident was followed by a full-scale invasion of China and Southeast Asia, marking the start of a 14-year war of resistance against Japanese aggression.

"It is important and necessary to let young people remember the national humiliation," said Zhu. "But blind hatred is not encouraged. The most important thing for China is to develop, as only a powerful nation can prevent painful moments of history from happening again."

However, the manner of educating younger generations about history has come under debate after several shocking incidents.

In late July, authorities in Fangzheng county, Heilongjiang, were criticized for building a monument bearing the names of Japanese paramilitary immigrants.

On August 3, five men sought to splatter it with red paint and smash it with hammers. Two days later, after a national outcry, the monument was torn down.

Separately, a tourist site near Mount Huangshan, Anhui Province, invited tourists to dress up as gun-toting Japanese soldiers and pretend to capture female villagers, a short-lived move which also drew public ire.

Huang Dahui, a professor of Japanese politics at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that memorial activities on such a special day are necessary, but that these must be blended into the public's daily lives, rather than being a simple one-day ritual.

"We should turn to new media to educate the young generation about the war. Apart from textbooks, the Internet, TV and even cartoons could be used," Huang said.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued a notice in June criticizing some TV and movie scripts for adding fictional elements to the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

Huang warned that China should not be overconfident after overtaking Japan as the world's No. 2 economy in terms of GDP, noting that the country has much to learn from Japan in aspects such as technology innovation, education and cultural investment.

China and Japan have had rocky ties since the normalization of relations in 1972, especially in the past decade as Japanese right-wing nationalists gained traction in the country's political arena.

In August, the education board of Japan's second largest city, Yokohama, adopted history and civics textbooks compiled by right-wing Japanese scholars.

The textbooks refer to the Pacific War as the "Greater East Asian War" or as a war for "Japan's survival and self-defense." They are set to be used by 100,000 students in all of Yokohama's 149 public junior high schools from 2012.

The move drew immediate criticism from other Asian countries, with accusations that the textbooks were revising history.

Huang noted that the distortion of Japan's invasion is dangerous because mutual trust between the two sides is based on the respect of history, and the lack of trust will lead to more misunderstandings.

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li at 2011-09-19124.180.172.*
Chinese deaths due to Japanese in WW2: 20 million
Larrydu at 2011-09-1960.49.122.*
What’s even more shameful is a bunch of people who ignored the great accomplishments of the first 30 years and have even stooped to denigrating everything that happened before. As I wrote to readers in a blog: ...I believe I’d written before how a Chinese scientist Tu Youyou discovered a drug for Malaria that prompted even a Hongkong academician to imply that it was of Nobel Prize quality. It’s sad that because of politics, decades have to pass before some scientific organization is willing to recognize the lady who’d saved millions of lives. Even sadder is the fact that the present Chinese government appears to be highly embarrassed that something so important and beneficial to humanity could’ve arose from the Cultural Revolution. The way the Chinese media ignored or squirmed at Tu‘s accomplishment has to be seen to be believed. Even so, some progress is evident, as Xinhua has at least reported Tu’s achievement (without mentioning the Cultural Revolution). Below is the report: Chinese scientist wins Lasker Award for malarial drug discovery
BEIJING, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Pharmacologist Tu Youyou has become the first scientist on the mainland to win America"s respected Lasker Award for her discovery of a new approach to malaria treatment. The 81-year-old will be presented with the medical prize by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation on Sept. 23 in New York, the foundation announced Monday. Tu, a scientist at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing, was praised by the jury for her "drug therapy for malaria that has saved millions of lives across the globe, especially in the developing world," according to a statement on the foundation’s website. In early 1969, Tu was appointed head of a government project that aimed to eradicate malaria, and it was then she began applying modern techniques with Chinese traditional medicine to find drug therapy for malaria. After detecting 380 extracts made from 2,000 candidate recipes, Tu and her colleagues obtained a pure substance called "Qinghaosu," which became known as artemisinin in 1972. An artemisinin-based drug combination is now the standard regimen for malaria, and the World Health Organization lists artemisinin and related agents in its catalog of "Essential Medicines," said a statement from the foundation. The Lasker Awards are given annually to people who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of human diseases since 1945. Lasker Awards are known as "America"s Nobels" for their knack of gaining future recognition by the Nobel committee. In the last two decades, 28 Lasker laureates have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize, and 80 since 1945. More extracts of the event from: marketwatch
The 2011 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award honors Tu Youyou, 81, for saving millions of lives by discovering artemisinin, the most powerful anti-malarial drug currently available. An artemisinin-based drug combination is now the standard regimen for the disease, and the World Health Organization (WHO) lists artemisinin and related agents in its catalog of "Essential Medicines." Tu’s seminal work on malaria began amid the Cultural Revolution when the Chinese government launched a clandestine military project aimed at finding a remedy for the deadly scourge. The operation, dubbed Project 523 for the day it was announced - May 23, 1967 - set out to battle chloroquine-resistant malaria. In keeping with Chairman Mao Zedong’s desire to "explore and further improve" the "great treasure house" of traditional Chinese medicine, Tu combed ancient texts and folk remedies for possible leads. She collected 2000 recipes, which were then winnowed. By 1971, her team had made 380 extracts from 200 herbs. The researchers then assessed whether these substances could clear the malaria-causing parasite from infected mice. One of the extracts from Qinghao - Artemisia annua L., or sweet wormwood - dramatically inhibited parasite growth in the animals. The results were not reproducible, so Tu once again scoured the literature for possible explanations. Following clues, she and her team performed the extraction process at low temperatures. Tu’s team also removed a harmful acidic portion of the extract that did not contribute to antimalarial activity and refined the preparation of the material in other ways. These innovations boosted potency and slashed toxicity. At a March 1972 meeting of the Project 523 group’s key participants, she reported that the neutral plant extract wiped out the malarial-causing agent in the blood of mice and monkeys. A pure substance was obtained later that year which proved effective in treating people with malaria. Larry
  

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