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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

A chance to reflect on the ashes of history

(Global Times)

08:41, September 19, 2011

Sunday marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese invasion into China. People across China were commemorating the nation's suffering and humiliation from the Japanese aggression.

While sirens wailed across Chinese cities, international media outlets, including Japanese ones, barely looked at this chapter of history. The September 18 incident, which was followed by a 14-year occupation, is unforgettable for China but not well-known internationally.

It is a significant incident in the world's political history – some Chinese historians see it as the start of World War II in East Asia. The September 18 incident in 1931 was no less traumatic than the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Back then, China was a weak player in international politics. Japan's invasion in East Asia was largely ignored by the international community, until the US fully entered the war.

In Western historical memory, there are clear narratives about Adolf Hitler's crimes, whereas narratives about the East Asian war zone are severely lacking. This is also why Japan is able to deny history up until today.

During World War II, Japan's crimes against humanity in China were no less than Germany's in Europe. But memorial activities concerning the East Asian war zone are never part of the mainstream memory of World War II. All these have roots in China's inferior status at that time.

September 18 is a day of national shame for Chinese. One major point is that China was so cowardly at that time that Japan embraced its limitless ambition and implemented it. Weakness entails the loss of national dignity – this is a painful lesson in China's history. Eight decades ago, China had no voice in world geopolitics. Just 20 years ago, when a Chinese person traveled, he was often asked: "Are you from Japan?"

China is emerging, but still needs lots of economic, military and political infrastructure before becoming a real power. Today, there are disputes over land and sea borders, and external forces still have many channels to incite instability within the nation. China is not a nation that can rest easy. There are still forces that are able to sabotage our security and humiliate the nation.

Rapid rejuvenation helped pull the Chinese people out of historical pain and humiliation. With a large population, vast territory and abundant resources, China has the qualifications required to become a strong power in the world.

It was once the strongest power in the world. To observe the September 18 incident is not to chew over our pains and hatred, but to let the Chinese people firmly remember how easy it is for a strong power to decline and what its people will face if the country falls.

We wish China luck. We often complain about the nation, but its future may rule the fate of us all.


Leave your comment3 comments

  1. Name

Joo Lee at 2011-09-2179.136.49.*
well done ...china must be military strong ,the rest will follow,we will be no one again ! china remembers ! The East is red !
Joo Lee at 2011-09-2179.136.49.*
well done ...china must be military strong ,the rest will follow,we will be no one again ! china remembers ! The East is red !
PD User at 2011-09-2080.94.16.*
2011-09-19.Germany to have bad luck their crime's judge's annouce they black nation.To treat japan's crime's in China selective american to judge only crimes on own's soldier with rest judge's to skip and speed to make japan's ally's.China to leave without to help western world.United States be quilt a such's situation,crime's soviet's and polish's also to go to forget with simply reason in majority criminals to become jewish's.Lobby jewish's in US to be capably of to erase crime's compatriot's.Not to have justice.

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