China to Name National Defense Education Day

The Chinese legislature is considering a law naming September 7, the date when China was forced to sign a humiliating treaty with 11 foreign powers 100 years ago, the Day of National Defense Education.

The draft Law on National Defense Education is scheduled to be put to the vote on Saturday at the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The Peace Treaty of 1901, also known as the Boxer Protocol, which the Qing Dynasty was forced to sign by the foreign powers in 1901, turned China into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society.

According to Zhang Xuwu, vice-chairman of the Law Committee of the National People's Congress, lawmakers have proposed many other dates, mostly humiliating dates in modern Chinese history, for the Day of National Defense Education, but the State Council and the military contended that the Day should not be related to a particular foreign country.

The NPC Law Committee suggests that the date be settled on September 7, which also coincides with the opening of the new school year in China.

In 1900, troops from the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Austria-Hungary, also known as the Allied Forces of Eight in China, attacked Beijing to suppress the anti-imperialist Boxers.

The next year, the eight powers and Belgium, Spain and Netherlands forced the Qing Dynasty into an unprecedented unequal treaty which virtually surrendered China to foreign control.

Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian once said that China's national defense education should focus on patriotism, heroism and dedication to the motherland.

According to the draft law presented for deliberation Tuesday, primary and middle schools, as well as colleges and universities should include the national defense education in the curriculum.

In addition, students in senior high schools and universities shall receive military training.

And government-run newspapers, radio and television stations shall also promote the knowledge on national defense, it said.

People's Daily Online ---