China celebrates 84th anniversary of WWII Nanjing massacre
China marked the 84th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre on Monday, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians and unarmed soldiers were killed by Japanese troops in and around the former Chinese capital. A People’s Liberation Army honor guard wearing large funeral wreaths slowly paraded past a memorial showing the figure of 300,000, the official death toll in China in the events of December 1937, amid solemn music. was played. Troops, students and 3,000 participants then stood at attention for a minute of silence. Addressing the rally, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said they gathered to “learn from history and open a new chapter in our future.” The ceremony was intended to “show our noble commitment to a peaceful development path,” said Sun, the only woman in the ruling Communist Party’s 25-member Politburo. In 2014, China’s highest legislature designated December 13 as the national day of remembrance for victims of the massacres. Survivors, only 61 of whom are still alive, were among those observing the date. The official Xinhua News Agency website appeared in black and white to mark the occasion, while popular online shopping and social media sites such as Taobao and WeChat displayed black backgrounds. China frequently criticizes Japan for not showing sufficient contrition for the brutality of its expansionist campaign that swept through Asia in the first half of the 20th century. The ruling party has often allowed anti-Japanese sentiment to develop nationally to solidify its legacy as a defender of China’s sovereignty and national dignity. In 1937 and throughout WWII, Communists were based in Yan’an in northern China, far from the front lines, while most of the fighting and death was carried out by nationalist forces in Chiang Kaishek supported by the United States. a period when relations with Japan are broadly stable and criticism has died down, despite a major slowdown in China’s relations with Tokyo’s main ally, the United States. A 1946 post-war international tribunal found at least 200,000 civilians killed by Japanese troops in a frenzy of murder, rape, looting and arson after the fall of Nanjing – the capital of China at the time – December 13, 1937, after bitter street fighting in Shanghai. The name of the city is now written Nanjing according to the Pinyin Romanization system. Some right-wing Japanese politicians have played down the death toll or categorically denied that the Nanjing atrocity has occurred.
Increasingly, it is China that has sounded the alarm in Asia with its more assertive military and diplomatic stance, especially on territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, as well as its growing military harassment of Taiwan. , the autonomous island democracy that it claims as its own territory.
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