Chinese Lawmakers Dispute over Choice of Humiliation Day

While affirming the necessity to name a National Defense Education Day, many Chinese lawmakers voiced their opinion Thursday to choose a date that can more effectively remind its citizens of the humiliation China suffered in its modern history.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) conducted a third review of the draft Law on National Defense Education Thursday.

The draft law named September 9, when the Qing Dynasty was forced to sign the Peace Treaty of 1909, or the Boxer Protocol, by 11 foreign powers, as the day of national defense education.

Proponents for this choice said that this date is proper because it is not related to one particular foreign country.

However, legislator Yang Zhenhuai proposed "July 7" or " September 18," which was related to Japanese invasion, as the choice, because "Japan's invasion has caused the most devastating trauma to the Chinese people, and is most unforgettable for the Chinese."

"The choice of this date should not be viewed as an offense to the Japanese people, but a reminder of Japanese military imperialists, because it reflects the truth of history," he said.

It is just like that Germans will not be hurt for criticism in regards to Nazis, Hitler or the massacre of Jews in history, he said.

Wong Po Yan, member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the NPC, who is from Hong Kong, said anti-China forces have been targeting China, and it is not necessary for China to avoid targeting anyone.

"The choice of this national defense education day should be worthy of remembrance," he said.

Wang Fosong, another lawmaker, said the choice of dates relating to Japanese invasion will serve as a more useful reminder for Chinese to remember their history where they suffered a great deal of humiliation at the hand of others.

Lawmakers Liang Guangda and Tong Zhiguang said the trauma Chinese people suffered in the past 100 years is far from being healed, and now the military plane collision and textbook incidents are hurting the feelings of the Chinese people again.

"National defense education should be further strengthened in order to spur the younger generation to aspire for a stronger China," Tong Zhiguang said.

Other lawmakers also suggested increased efforts in defense education.

Xu Jialu, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said male students who go to college should spend one year for military service, which will both benefit the young people and the military.

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.

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

People's Daily Online ---