Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sept. 3 emphasized carrying forward in the new era the great spirit of resisting aggression and striving to achieve national rejuvenation.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), delivered an important speech at a symposium commemorating the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.
Addressing the symposium held by the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the CMC, Xi said the Chinese people demonstrated to the world their patriotism, national character, heroism and a strong will to win during the war.
The great spirit of resisting aggression bred during the war has been an invaluable source of inspiration, and will forever motivate the Chinese people to overcome all difficulties and obstacles and strive to achieve national rejuvenation, Xi said.
He said that 75 years ago, the people of China, together with the rest of humanity, finally won a total victory against fascism through their unbreakable will and brave fighting. It was a great victory over evil, darkness and reactionaries.
That day also marked a great victory for the unyielding Chinese people who had fought tenaciously for 14 years and finally defeated the Japanese militarist aggressors, Xi said.
He added that the war has been the Chinese people’s longest and largest fight against foreign aggression in modern times. Though it came with the greatest sacrifice as well, it led to the Chinese people’s first complete victory in national liberation.
At the cost of 35 million casualties and US$600 billion in economic losses over 14 years of arduous resistance, the Chinese military and civilians made great national sacrifices for and a historic contribution to the just cause of the World Anti-Fascist War, said Zhu Chengshan, vice president of the Academy of History of Chinese Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
The War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was the prelude to the Pacific side of World War II.
Zhang Sheng, dean of the School of History at Nanjing University, said that the September 18th Incident of 1931, the start of Japan’s invasion of China, should be regarded as the starting point of World War II. This means that the earliest battlefield of the World Anti-Fascist War was in China. In the early days of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, all parties, ethnic groups, classes, strata and groups in China faced the powerful Japanese militarist invaders alone—without international assistance—and became one of the main forces in East Asian and Western Pacific battlefields.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the Chinese people provided numerous strategic materials and much military intelligence to the Allies, and they strongly supported the World Anti-Fascist War, said He Husheng, a professor with the School of Marxism Studies at Renmin University of China.
Hu Guosheng, a professor from the School of Marxism at South China Normal University, said that the new era should fully tap into the historical resources of the Chinese people’s great spirit of resisting aggression, restoring historical facts of the war, educating and inspiring people with numerous vivid historical events.
In-depth research on the war requires broadening research scopes and carrying out a comparative study, said Gao Shihua, a research fellow from the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The global significance of the victory in the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression cannot be underestimated. We should realize that it is “a great victory of justice over evil, light over darkness, and progress over reaction,” and that to safeguard its victory is also to safeguard world peace.
In the World Anti-Fascist War, many countries, especially Southeast Asian countries, suffered from Japanese aggression to varying degrees, and the people of these countries also fought against Japan in various ways, Gao continued. Conducting a comparative study of the people’s anti-fascist struggles in various countries will facilitate a deeper understanding of the significance of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
In Hu’s view, the social science circle needs to carry out basic and original research on the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, and preserve the historical memory of the war. It is necessary to strengthen the study of the spirit of resisting aggression, and enrich its connection to and value for today.