BEIJING — China’s V-Day parade in Beijing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII) will shed light on history and pave the way for peace and reconciliation in Asia, statesmen and experts say.
It is a landmark event for China and the whole world, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, whose country has sent a guard of honor consisting of some 100 soldiers to join in the military parade on Sept 3.
The ceremony will serve as a reminder of the horrors of the bloodiest war in human history, as well as the terrible consequences caused by the war of aggression based on racial superiority, he said.
China’s military parade symbolizes a sense of pride and is a celebration of heroism and the older generation’s remarkable feats, he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will be present at the event, said it is very important for the world community to learn from the past and move forward.
Asked about his response to Japan’s concern over his upcoming China visit, Ban said that “the whole world is now commemorating the 70th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War, most tragic in the history of human beings and at the same time the founding of the United Nations.”
“It’s important to look to the past, what kinds of lessons we have been learning, and how we can move ahead to a brighter future based on the lessons learned. That is the main purpose,” Ban said.
“I think it is important for every country to shed light on its history and question it in an open and critical manner,” former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said while commenting on his participation in the upcoming V-Day festivities.
“The military parade that China will hold to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory in China’s anti-Japanese war is of great significance,” former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said.
“It’s an opportunity to manifest a country’s force but also to show that it’s not bellicose. In this parade, China will show off the progress it has made, and its strategy of peaceful development. In a world of uncertainties, China’s vision of building a multi-polar peaceful world is very important,” he said.
“I think commemorative events have their place,” said Odd Arne Westad, ST Lee Professor of US-Asia Relations at Harvard University.
“If the end of World War II teaches us anything, it is that we have to avoid war in the future. In total wars there are no winners, only losers,” the expert said.
The parade is unprecedented for China, while similar commemorative events have been held across Europe.
Apart from bringing to light China’s contribution to the Allied victory, the event will also demonstrate the country’s aspiration for peace and its determination to safeguard post-war international order