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Victory events to mark World War II ‘serve as valuable reminder’

Updated: May 6,2015 8:56 AM     chinadaily.com.cn

Seven decades after the end of World War II, China and Russia have more “responsibility and capability” to jointly uphold the outcome of their victory with the international community, a senior diplomat said on May 6.

The postwar order, with the United Nations as the core, has helped ensure that the world did not endure another conflict on that scale, but challenges remain as fascism and militarism re-emerge and attempts to distort history linger, Vice-Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said.

The celebrations to be held by the two countries to mark the anniversary will serve as a reminder of the valuable lessons learned, the importance of firmly adhering to the factual truth of history, and oppose any moves to revitalize the forces of fascism and militarism, he said in Beijing.

Cheng made the remarks at a forum following Beijing’s announcement that President Xi Jinping will visit Russia from May 8 to 10 and attend a ceremony in Moscow to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45).

China is also planning a military parade later this year to commemorate victory over Japanese forces.

Russia’s Ambassador to China, Andrey Denisov, told the forum that avoiding a repeat of such a tragedy should be paramount. The close partnership between Russia and China has become a key pillar in safeguarding global peace and stability, he said.

Observers said Chinese and Russian celebrations to mark the end of the war would highlight both nations’ role as the main theaters in Asia and Europe, and “serve as a warning against the undercurrent that is defying historical facts”.

Yu Zhenqi, vice-chairman of the China Foundation for International Studies, said the latest example of this undercurrent was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s speech to the US Congress last week. Abe referred to “actions” instead of “aggression and colonial rule”, and “deep remorse” rather than “heartfelt apology” when talking about the war, in an apparent effort to dilute the country’s wartime atrocities.

Wang Haiyun, a military expert at the China Institute for International Strategic Studies, said Abe’s attempts to dilute history will not work, and the forces in Japan that want to overturn the postwar order put regional peace and stability at risk.

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