COMMENTARY BY XINHUA NEWS AGENCY
On the 106th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, it is time to recollect how a series of reckless mistakes and irresponsible behaviours dragged mankind into untold sorrow.
The world today is very different from a century ago and mankind has more wisdom to avoid history repeating itself, hopefully. But when some politicians of the most powerful modern-day country are playing games that challenge common sense and human conscience, the world should be fully on its guard with worries that political absurdity might translate into real tragedy in the 21st century.
It is absurd that while the United States is facing the coronavirus epidemic, some of its politicians are making more efforts to fabricate lies and smear other countries than to save American people’s lives, although the country boasts the world’s most advanced technology.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been using “more creative and assertive ways” (to use his own words), not against the severe health, economic, and political crisis facing his country, but to confront China and the Communist Party of China(CPC). He neglected the fact that the CPC has enjoyed wide public support during its seven decades of governance.
Even more ironically, a country that keeps withdrawing from multilateral platforms is pressuring as many countries as possible to join a multilateral anti-China alliance, although few are willing to follow.
When Pompeo fanned ideological confrontation and announced the approach to China should be “distrust and verify”, the true face of a dishonest and vicious politician was revealed.
Pompeo’s rhetoric represents the mind-set of some anti-China forces in the United States who have been trying to reshape China’s development path.
Angered by China’s refusal to change in line with their wishes, they resort to all possible means to suppress and contain China, showing an addiction to power politics and hegemony.
Ever since the beginning of this year, the United States has been abusing its national power to crack down on Chinese companies, suppressing Chinese media organisations, and interfering in China’s internal affairs related to the South China Sea, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. It even violated the basic norms of international relations by abruptly requesting China to close its Consulate General in Houston.
The high frequency and intensity of anti-China actions sounds an alarm bell that the current China policy of the United States is based on strategic miscalculations, and is fraught with emotion, whims, and McCarthyist bigotry.
With bilateral relationship facing the most severe challenge, China does not want to escalate the tension. Neither “cold war” nor “hot war” conforms with the interests of the people of the two countries or the world.
China has no intention to challenge or replace the United States. Rather, the country has maintained a highly stable and consistent policy toward the United States, and is willing to grow China-US relations with goodwill and sincerity. China still wants to achieve non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation with the United States.
But as irresponsible US politicians will do anything without the bottom line in their attempts to interrupt China’s development process, China must prepare for the worst.
The Chinese people, united as one, will never yield and will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and dignity and legitimate rights of development by all necessary means.
China’s response against the US moves is aimed at stopping irresponsible politicians from kidnapping bilateral relations for their selfish interests. It is not targeting the American people for whom the Chinese people have always cherished a friendship.
At a time when we remember the tragedy of war and confrontation 106 years ago, it is essential for the international community to jointly find solutions to prevent and remove threats to peace, security, and justice.
There should be no tolerance for Pompeo-like politicians to continue their behaviour of “cheating, lying, and stealing”. Allowing such political absurdity means opening the door to vicious forces, bringing a high price that the world cannot afford and should not pay.
Historical memories should not fade, 75 years after Japan’s defeat in WWII
August 15, 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of Japan’s unconditional surrender in World War II (WWII).
For most people in Asia, August 15 is a special date that will never be erased from their memories.
The war of aggression initiated by Japan brought untold sufferings to the people in Asia. China alone suffered 35 million casualties and 600 billion US dollars in economic losses in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
However, with the advent of “75 years after the war”, the generation that experienced the war of aggression has become a minority group in Japan. The memories about the history of aggression are increasingly fading, and the reflection on the war in the Japanese society is becoming neglected through the years.
Experts have pointed out that this trend is worrying, and that only by choosing to face up to and deeply reflect on its history of aggression, can Japan truly win the trust of its Asian neighbours and the international community.
Actions avoiding responsibility
On August 6 and August 9 every year, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki hold ceremonies to commemorate the atomic bombings. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of participants decreased this year.
In an effort to hasten the surrender of Japan, which had staged the war of aggression, the US army dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. Japan has long portrayed itself as the “victim” of World War II, especially of the nuclear explosions, with little reference to the historical background of the atomic bombings.
“Seventy-five years ago, the atomic bombs turned Hiroshima and Nagasaki into ruins,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speeches at this year’s ceremonies. “The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the suffering caused by them must not be repeated,” he said. However, Abe said nothing about the reasons for the bombings and their background.
In the annual World War II memorial ceremony on August 15, Abe’s speeches, since he came to power again in 2012, have always focused on mourning for the Japanese soldiers who died in the war of aggression, avoiding talking of the Imperial Japan staging the brutal aggression war and the colonial rule.
He has also evaded the tradition of repeating Japan’s responsibility for wartime atrocities by his predecessors, starting from former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, showing no intention of reflection and apology.
Poisonous, wrong view of history
Japan Conference, a right-wing group, also used political means to exert influence on local education committees this year, urging the adoption of highly controversial history textbooks published by IKUHOSHA Publishing Inc.
The textbooks not only beautify the Japan-initiated war of aggression as a “self-defense war” and “Asia’s national liberation war of independence,” but also call the Nanjing Massacre as “Nanjing Incident”, despite the fact that the Japanese war criminals of the massacre were tried at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East after WWII.
According to statistics from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the adoption of the IKUHOSHA history textbooks in 2020 accounts for 6.4 percent of the national total. Citizens in Nagoya, Yokohama, Kyoto, Osaka and other cities have launched campaigns against the adoption of the textbooks that distort Japan’s history of aggression.
As is customary on August 15, Abe usually offers a sacrifice fee to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honours Class-A war criminals and advocates twisted views that “Japanese aggression is justified” and “Japan liberated the Asian people”.
Takakage Fujita, director general of a civil group dedicated to upholding and developing the well-known Murayama Statement, said that whether to visit or offer sacrifices, it equals the worship of Class-A war criminals, which means supporting the beautification of the war of aggression, and will seriously undermine Japan’s post-war peace order.
Alarming armed forces
Over the years since taking office, the Abe administration has taken a series of actions challenging the post-war international order, such as strengthening defence cooperation between Japan and the United States, revising security laws, and promoting the amendment of the pacifist Constitution.
After the Abe administration passed the new security law in September 2015, which lifts the ban on the right of collective self-defence and fundamentally changes Japan’s post-war policy of exclusively defence-oriented strategy, the move sparked concerns in Japan, Asian countries and even in the international community.
In the same year, a new version of Guidelines for US-Japan Defence Cooperation was published, listing “cross-domain operations” and “US vessels protection” as part of maritime security.
In recent years, the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force has been modernising its military hardware. The 2019 edition of the defence white paper stressed that the Self-Defence Force will strengthen its military, scientific and technological capabilities in space, cyber security, electromagnetic waves and other fields to build a “multi-dimensional and comprehensive defence capability”.
In May 2020, Japan’s first Space Operations Squadron was established at its base in Tokyo Prefecture.
Nobuyoshi Takashima, an honorary professor at Japan’s University of the Ryukyus, said Japan’s recent rising trend in exclusionism, and economic and military ambitions would provoke vigilance from its Asian neighbours. (XINHUA)