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Commentary: Debates on V-Day Parade Indicate China's Progress

By Xiaoyuan Ai (People's Daily Online)    07:03, September 02, 2015

China will hold its first military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on September 3, which has undoubtedly been a hot topic amongst the Chinese social media recently.

Everyone seems to have their own concerns about the parade. Some people wish to take a glimpse of the foreign troops; some want to widen their knowledge of the armaments; others are making efforts to get tickets that could get them into the scene. Still, some are complaining about the inconvenience caused by the recent traffic control and other regulations.

These are all normal reactions in a Chinese society where an important event is approaching. Chinese people have become more willing to express their own feelings, share their personal experiences, and take different perspectives. It is encouraging to see people taking diverse look at the current issues rather than agreeing or disagreeing on something altogether. Such a phenomenon truly indicates China as a more open, tolerant, and advanced society. It is also important for us to think, amongst all the emotions, what core facts of the happenings are and what reflection we could gain from it.

Last week, China’s latest model of military jets performed a display during parade rehearsals in Beijing. Many of those who were able to take photos of the scene and then post online were actually those who got stuck on the road by temporary roadblocks. With the sounds of the rolling tanks rumbling pass, and with all the photos of the heroic soldiers on news reports, one can hardly act indifferently about the significant progress China has made during its past 70 years.

Indeed, China has gone through too many things in the past century, and people view and judge them differently. But when speaking of the end of WWII and the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, the majority of Chinese people hold a solidary attitude of pride and excitement. Therefore, on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, is it appropriate to revive the old spirit that once supported us during the anti-war period? Is it meaningful for modern China to commemorate the legacy of the wars and to rethink the development of our country? The answer is YES.

Because of this, it is respectable of people to pay constant attention to the parade, bear some inconveniences in this period of time, and share their true feelings in this. In some way, it is like the annual travel rush during Spring Festival, people have to make all efforts to book a train ticket in the midnight, prepare all kinds of New Year’s gifts for extended families, and change from one vehicle to another just for family reunion. Once all family members are reunited, all exhaustion will be washed away. And same thing applies to this V-Day parade. Compared with some daily inconveniences, the inner fulfillment people will get is far more significant.

Liang Qichao, a famous Chinese scholar and journalist, once compared a young nation to a teenager, who needs not only physical growth but also the development of mind. During the past years, China has grown from a teenager to a young man, who is now facing more challenges and responsibilities. In some sense, the upcoming parade and many other efforts China has made, such as improving the legal system, commemorating the history, as well as highlighting heroes and heroines, are of great significance. More importantly, we also need to build a modern country with strong mobilization ability.

In this way, the heated discussion on the upcoming V-Day parade shows that Chinese people are actively participating in thinking about the development of their country. How can we make September 3 a more meaningful day? How should we maintain memorial constructions and hold commemorative activities? And what can we learn from the war of resistance against aggression? People across the nation have been thinking deeply about these questions. It also indicates that Chinese people are making new progress.

(This article is translated from《人民时评:过好胜利日,我们才刚刚起步》 written by Ai Xiaoyuan and published on September 1,2 015. Original link: http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2015-09/01/nw.D110000renmrb_20150901_1-05.htm)

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