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Speech by Ambassador Zhang Weidong at the Seminar in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression of China and the World Anti-Fascist War
28th August 2015

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good afternoon.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, as well as the 70th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression of China. As an old Chinese saying goes, the remembrance of the past is the teacher of the future. To remember history is to build a better future. I am glad to have this opportunity to exchange views with you and together commemorate the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

As the largest and most destructive war in human history, the Anti-Fascist War swept through Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, causing unprecedented havoc to human civilization. Meanwhile, it was a great war in human history which represented the victory of justice against evil and the victory of progressive forces against reactionary forces. Its victory has had significant and profound influence over the advance of human civilization.

Chinese nation made a major contribution to the victory of Anti-Fascist War. China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was an important part and the oriental main battle field of the Anti-Fascist War. China’s War of Resistance started the earliest, lasted the longest, suffered the toughest conditions and sacrificed the most during the World Anti-Fascist War.

Why the earliest? Japanese troops launched the Mukden Incident in China’s Liaoning Province on 18th September 1931 and occupied the northeastern part of China. Chinese people began their resistance against Japanese Aggression, thus marking the beginning of the World Anti-Fascist War.

Why the longest? China’s War of Resistance lasted 14 years from the Mukden Incident until Japan’s surrender on 2nd September 1945.

Why the toughest conditions? The under-equipped Chinese army fought against well-equipped Japanese troops and over 1.5 million Japanese invaders were shot dead, injured or captured, accounting for over 70% of the total loss of Japanese troops in World War II. The hardships and difficulties for Chinese Army to achieve such splendid result are just unimaginable.

Why most sacrifices? As the oriental main battle field, 35 million Chinese nationals died and over 400 million were involved in the war. Almost no one in China could escape it. Converting to the price of 1937, China’s official losses reached over 100 billion US dollars and indirect economic losses hit 500 billion US dollars.

For a long term, China’s War of Resistance fought and contained the main military forces of Japanese militarism. It strategically coordinated and supported Allies’ strategic actions in Europe and the Pacific, and constrained Japan’s strategic cooperation with German and Italian Fascism. China’s War of Resistance boosted the confidence of Allies’ fight against fascism and promoted the establishment of the worldwide anti-fascist united front. China joined the efforts with U.S., U.K. and the Soviet Union in founding the United Nations, making indelible contributions to the post-war international order.

China’s War of Resistance received moral, manpower, material and financial support and help from peace and justice loving countries, peoples, international organizations and anti-fascist forces all over the world. A lot of anti-fascist fighters from Soviet Union, U.S.A., Poland, Denmark and Germany, among others, travelled far to China, and joined the Chinese people in their fight against Japanese aggression. Lots of them even lost their lives. Chinese government and people will never forget their great and selfless support and contributions.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression of China, the Communist Party of China (CPC) always played a role as the mainstay of Chinese people’s fight against Japanese invasion and was the key to the victory of the war. The CPC adhered to the line of comprehensive resistance and made correct strategies and policies. It advocated the establishment of Anti-Japanese National United Front based on the cooperation between CPC and Kuomintang (KMT). It opened vast battlefield behind enemy lines and became the backbone of the War of Resistance.

Nationwide resistance was the magic weapon for the victory of China’s War of Resistance. During those bloody days, it was the common goal for all parties, all ethnic groups, all classes, all organizations in China, as well as overseas Chinese to fight against invasion and salvage China from subjugation. Men and women, old and young, the whole nation rose up and chose to resist without hesitation.

During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, troops led by CPC and KMT respectively took the responsibilities of fighting in the battlefield behind enemy lines and the frontline battlefield. The two battlefields were interdependent and mutually-supportive. For a long period of time, especially during the strategic defensive period, the frontline battlefield was the main battle field. In this period, KMT troops launched several large-scale battles such as the battle of Shanghai, the battle of Xuzhou, the battle of Nanjing and the battle of Wuhan. These battles drew and dragged down a large number of Japanese troops and played an important role in breaking Japan’s rapid victory strategy and driving the war from strategic defense to strategic stalemate. Since the period of strategic stalemate, the battlefield behind enemy lines rose as the main battle field and guerrilla warfare, in replacement of regular warfare, became the main form of combat. The battlefield behind enemy lines fought around 60% of Japanese army in China and 95% of the puppet army. After 1943, as the war entering into partial counter-offensive period, the battlefield behind enemy lines gradually turned from guerrilla to mobile warfare. It resumed lots of the lost territories and became the strategic base for full-scale counterattack, making significant contributions to the final victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

After 14 years of bloody battles, Chinese people eventually defeated Japanese aggressors, which declared the complete failure of Japanese militarism, and the ultimate victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression of China and the World Anti-Fascist War. The victory of China’s War of Resistance was the victory of the nationwide war of resistance and was the glory of all the Chinese both in China and overseas.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

People all over the world paid huge price for the victory of World Anti-Fascist War. It was a hard-won result and we must cherish it. Based on UN and principles of UN Charter, the post-war international order embodies the accomplishments of the World Anti-Fascist war, reflects international justice and righteousness and gathers consensus of the international community on history issue. It serves as the cornerstone of world peace and stability.

However, we must see that a small number of Japanese right-wing forces are incorrigibly obstinate. They deny war crimes, whitewash Japan’s wartime aggression, preach militarism and recklessly challenge peaceful order established after World War II. They not only seriously damage Japan’s relations with China and other victim countries, but also pose a threat to regional and world peace and stability.

China made historical contributions to establish the post-war international order with the UN as the core and principles of UN Charter as the basis. As one of the main founders of the post-war international order, China firmly safeguards the victory of World Anti-Fascist War and a series of international laws. It is China’s right and responsibility to unite the international community to maintain and consolidate our victory and order, as well as world justice and righteousness.

China’s solemn commemoration the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the 70th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression of China also serves as a reminder to us. It reminds all nations and peoples which suffered invasion by Fascism not to forget national humiliation, keep vigilance and never allow the historical tragedy to repeat.

Ladies and gentle, dear friends,

70 years ago, Iceland, as Allies’ strategic base in North Atlantic, played an important role for the smooth progress of the war. Chinese troops and people, at the same time in the far away oriental battlefield, were fighting against Japanese invaders. During the 70 years after the war, China-Iceland relations have achieved a lot. We started from people-to-people exchanges and gradually deepen our friendship. Our bilateral relations have taken on the track of all around development since we established diplomatic ties in 1971. High level exchanges have been maintained, trade and economic cooperation has been on a new stage and cultural exchanges have been increasingly closer. I am sure that both peoples truly enjoy the benefits of a peaceful international environment and cherish the hard-won peace.

Chinese people always cherish peace and it was the most urgent and profound wish of the modern Chinese people to realize peace. The most valuable enlightenment given by the World Anti-Fascist War and China’s War of Resistance is that we must unswervingly pursue peaceful development. It was the common responsibility for Chinese people, Icelandic people and peoples in other countries to maintain peace. China will firmly continue its peaceful development and build new international relations with win-win at the core. China will cooperate with other countries including Iceland in a new way of working together for win-win outcomes, and make unremitting endeavor for a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

Thank you.

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