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|Wednesday, September 19, 2001, updated at 14:03(GMT+8)|
Activities to Mark Outbreak of Anti-Japanese War Held NationwideLoud air-defense sirens came on simultaneously Tuesday night, at 21:18, and lasted for three minutes in Harbin, Changchun and Shenyang cities in northeast China, to mark the outbreak of the Anti-Japanese War (1931-45) 70 years ago.
All the cars and buses in the streets stopped to horn, and the scene was televised live by local TV stations.
A large number of official and non-official activities in memory of the war were held nationwide Tuesday, according to reports from different cities.
On September 18, 1931, Japanese troops, who already occupied part of northeast China, exploded a section of railway in Shenyang City, now capital of Liaoning Province, in order to find a pretext to invade China on a full scale.
The Japanese invasion shows that all Chinese should unite to safeguard national unity and territorial integration, said Wang Fuqin, a deputy director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, at a symposium held in Shenyang. The official blamed some pro-independence figures in Taiwan for their denial of the Japanese invasion.
Some other local and foreign experts also spoke at the symposium to air their views on the issue. General Zhang Xueliang, who joined hands with the Communist Party of China in persuading the then leader Chiang Kai-shek to fight against the aggressor in December 1937 and is now living in the United States, also sent a letter to the meeting.
A similar symposium was also held in Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, where Japanese troops killed 300, 000 soldiers and civilians during the well-known Nanjing Massacre in December 1937.
In Shijiazhuang, the capital of north China's Hebei Province, a ceremony was held to unveil a bronze statue of Henry Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor who died in China during the war, at the Bethune Military Medical Institute of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Tuesday.
The statue, 3.0 meters in height and 1.83 tons in weight, was built with donations from some old Chinese soldiers and retired officials as well as Bethune's countrymen.
In Changsha, the capital of Central China's Hunan Province, 300 students from the city's No. 11 high school sent an open letter to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, criticizing his recent visit to "Yasukuni Shrine" and the distortion of that period of history when China was invaded by Japanese militarists in the school textbooks.
The students express the hope that the prime minister and all the Japanese people respect history, look forward to the future, and make contributions to world peace.
Many people including Japanese tourists visited local museums and memorial places to commemorate the war.
In Beijing, a dozen Japanese visited the Chinese People's Anti- Japanese War Memorial Hall. In Fushun City, Liaoning, a group of 300 Japanese visitors stood in a silent tribute to the over 3,000 victims who were slaughtered by Japanese troops in the massacre.
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