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Tuesday, September 18, 2001, updated at 16:20(GMT+8)

Keeping History Firmly in Mind, Fighting Against Aggression

This article, written by Ding Jiaqi to mark the 70th anniversary of the "September 18" Incident, focuses on the following three points. Excerpts of this article are given below:

The "September 18" Incident: Product of Japanese Imperialists' Long-Premeditated Policy of Aggression and Expansion

Japan's policy of external aggression and expansion was long-standing. As early as the middle of the 19th century, Mikado, the emperor of Japan, had formulated the policy of "expanding territory" for its government. In the late 19th century, after Japan developed from a capitalist country into an imperialist State, it stepped up its external aggression and expansion and its spearhead was directed mainly against. China. It successively launched the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, joined the Eight-Power Allied Forces in their aggression against China, carried out the Japan-Russia War targeted at contending for China's northeast region and invaded and occupied one after another Chinese territory of Taiwan and Penghu Islands, grabbed the right to station troops in Beijing and along the railway line from Beijing to Shanhaiguan and the right to lease Lushun and Dalian, the ownership of railway from Changchun to Dalian and the right to station troops in the "dependencies" as well as the privilege to open up mines and run factories in China. During World War I, Japan invaded China's Shandong, occupied Qingdao and the Qingdao-Jinan Railway under the pretext of declaring war against Germany and, in 1915 raised the 21 Demands to the Yuanshi Kai regime of China, which meant the near subjugation of China, turning China into its colony.

In early 1930, the serious economic crisis that swept various countries of the capitalist world impacted Japan, which reached its pinnacle in 1931. The economic crisis led to the sharpening of class contradiction in Japan and social turbulence. The Japanese monopoly bourgeoisie, on the one hand, intensified fascist rule and suppressed people's resistance at home, on the other hand, it was anxious to seek a way out through expanding its external aggression and grab new colonies and spheres of influence. They stepped up their preparations for launching a war of aggression against China in the aspects of public opinion, organization, personnel, funds and the deployment of armed forces. After making thorough planning and premeditation, on the night of September 18, 1931, the Japanese Kuantung Army deliberately sent troops to blast the railway tracks near Liutiao Lake on the northern outskirts of Shenyang, then they turned back to charge that that was done by the Chinese Army, using this as an excuse, they launched an attack on the Chinese Army stationed in Shenyang, creating the world-shaking "September 18" Incident. Because the Kuomintang Chiang Kai-shek government adopted a non-resistance policy of national betrayal, the Japanese troops quickly expanded the scale of the aggressive war, and invaded and occupied the three provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang. In March 1932, "Manchukuo", a puppet regime created single-handedly by Japan, was established. The three northeast provinces were thus reduced to Japan's colonies.

It is thus clear that the "September 18" Incident was a product of completely Japanese imperialists' long deliberately formulated and implemented policy of expansion and aggression against China and was an out-and-out act of aggression and expansion.

After Japanese imperialists' creation of the "September 18" Incident, and invasion and occupation of the three northeast provinces, they did not ceased their aggression, instead, with this as the base, they expanded step by step toward areas inside Shanhaiguan Pass of China. On January 28, 1932, Japanese troops launched an offensive toward Shanghai. In January 1933, Japanese troops invaded and occupied Shanhaiguan. In March, they invaded and occupied Rehe Province' Duolun and other areas. In 1935, they engineered the establishment of an "autonomous" pro-Japan regime in five north Chinese provinces. On the night of July 7, 1937, Japanese troops launched attacks on Chinese Army in Lugougiao (Marco Polo) Bridge in Fengtai District, Beiping, creating another world-startling incident-the July 7" Incident of aggression against China, thereby starting a large-scale, comprehensive war of aggression against China. By 1945, Japanese troops had invaded and occupied many large and medium-sized cities and some rural areas in north China, central China and south China.

Japanese imperialist aggression against China began in the "September 18" Incident, aggression that continued for as long as 14 years, during which they had committed savage war crimes and anti-humanity crimes. According to incomplete statistics, during the 14 years of Japanese aggression against China, China suffered casualties of more than 35 million soldiers and civilians, an economic loss of more than US$600 billion. The Chinese people will never forget the evil history of

Japanese imperialist aggression against China.

The "September 18" Incident Aroused the Chinese People's Vehement Indignation and Resistance, from Then on the Chinese People Had Begun 14 Years of Extremely Hard and Bitter Anti-Japanese National Liberation War

"September 18" was a day of being invaded, plundered and humiliated for the Chinese people, at the same time, it was also a day in which the Chinese people were aroused to further awakening, and to rising in resistance against aggression. Where there was aggression there was resistance. From the second day following the occurrence of the Incident, young students, workers, residents and patriotic people of other social strata in Shanghai, Beiping, Tianjin and other large and medium-sized cities nationwide went into actions to stage mighty anti-Japanese movements. Student strikes, worker strikes, mass rallies, demonstrations were held, strongly opposing Japanese aggression and resolutely demanding that the Kuomintang government fight against Japanese aggression.

The Communist Party of China (CPC), representing the interests and wishes of the entire Chinese people, published a series of declarations and made resolutions, resolutely opposing Japanese imperialist aggression and calling upon the entire people to drive Japanese imperialists out of China by waging revolutionary wars. Very soon various anti-Japanese armed forces were organized to attack Japanese aggressor troops. By the first half of 1937, they had fought thousands of battles with the Japanese and puppet troops, annihilated more than 10,000 of them and dealt heavy blows to them.

After the outbreak of nationwide war of resistance in July 1937, the Chinese armed forces and people, on the two battlefields of the front and the enemy's rear areas, waged heroic resistance to Japanese troops' aggression, after successively going through the three stages of strategic defensive, strategic stalemate and strategic counter-offensive that lasted for eight years until August 1945, with the support of the international antifascist forces, finally defeated Japanese imperialism and drove the aggressors out of China. In the entire War of Resistance Against Japan, Chinese armed forces (including anti-Japanese armed forces in the liberated areas, the Kuomintang Army, the Northeast Anti-Japanese Army of Volunteers) annihilated a total of 1.55 million Japanese troops, the anti-Japanese armed forces in the liberated areas wiped out 1.18 million puppet troops. Japanese troops, after their defeat, had 1.283 million officers and men surrender to the Chinese Army. This great victory was won by the Chinese nation and the Chinese people after fighting 14 years of bloody battles beginning from the "September 18" Incident created by Japanese imperialists. "September 18" will be a day that permanently inspires the Chinese people to keep history firmly in mind, fight against aggression, work hard for the prosperity of the country and rejuvenate China.

What Are Japanese Right-wing Forces Up to When They Try Hard to Distort and Tamper with the History of Aggression Against China and Other Asian Countries Since "September 18"?

After World War II, although Japan's crimes of aggressive war had been tried by the Far East International Military Tribunal and to some extent, had been subjected to exposure and criticism, however, due to reasons such as the United States' utilization and protection of Japan formed as a result of the Cold War, Japanese militarist forces had not been completely cleaned up and liquidated. Beginning from the early 50s, certain senior Japanese government officials and right-wing forces have begun to reverse the verdict pass on Japan by the Far East International Military Tribunal and denied Japan's war crimes. Since the 80s, the right-wing forces' verdict-reversing activities and their words and deeds concerning distortion and alteration of Japan's history of aggression have developed to a new stage. They described the aggressive war waged by Japan as a "war of self-defense" and "liberation war", denying the fact of Japan's defeat and surrender; they demanded negating the post-war new Constitution or at least canceling the article on "abandoning war" forever as stipulated in the Constitution; on the question of middle school textbook, they repeatedly deleted progressive Japanese scholars' viewpoints which correctly presented history and were taken into the textbook, trying their utmost to distort and alter history. They have created militarist public opinion through various channels. Former Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro and current PM Junichiro Koizumi as well as some former and current cabinet members, in defiance of the opposition of China and other Asian countries, brazenly paid homage to Yasukuni Shrine to call back the spirit of the war criminals. When Japanese right-wing forces wantonly carry out activities to tamper with history and beautify aggressive war, and certain senior government officials stir up troubles overtly and covertly, what are their intentions? All peace-loving people around the world have seen this clearly, the right-wingers' intention is to revive militarism and follow the old path of aggression and expansion. In recent years, Japan has kept on increasing its military spending, expanding its armed forces, strengthening its weaponry and equipment, thus constituting a threat to its surrounding countries and regions. These facts represent serious steps taken to revive militarism. History has proved that the road of militarism is dangerous and will get them nowhere. If they are dead set on having their own way, they will meet with the same fate of defeat.

China and Japan are friendly neighbors separated by a mere strip of water, they have a 2,000-odd-year history of friendly contacts. It was only until modern times, in a period of about half a century that there have emerged many past events which the Chinese and Japanese peoples have found it painful and unbearable to recall, the "September 18" Incident is one of them. Now on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Incident, our review of this blood-dyed history is of important significance in strengthening education in patriotism and revolutionary heroism, in building up and defending our great motherland, in having a further understanding of the nature of Japanese right-wing forces, in maintaining high vigilance against the revival of Japanese militarism, in combating the forces of aggression and expansion, in enhancing the friendly and cooperative relations between the Chinese and Japanese peoples and in fulfilling the common aspirations of the two peoples for being friends from generation to generation.

In This Section

This article, written by Ding Jiaqi to mark the 70th anniversary of the "September 18" Incident, focuses on the following three points. Excerpts of this article are given below:

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