Remember the Past and Our Martyrs, Cherish Peace, and Build a New Future*
September 3, 2015
The Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and World War II were a decisive battle between justice and evil, between light and darkness, and between progress and reaction. In that devastating war, the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression started first and lasted longest. In defiance of aggression, the unyielding Chinese people fought gallantly and finally won total victory over the Japanese militarist aggressors, thus preserving the achievements of China's 5,000-year-old civilization and defending the cause of peace for mankind. This remarkable feat on the part of the Chinese nation was rare in the annals of war.
The victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was the first complete victory won by China in its resistance against foreign aggression in modern times. This great triumph crushed the attempt of the Japanese militarists to colonize and enslave China, and it put an end to the national humiliation of China suffering repeated defeats at the hands of foreign aggressors. This great triumph re-established China as a major country and won the Chinese people the respect of all peace-loving people around the world. This great triumph represented the rebirth of China, opened up bright prospects for the great renewal of the Chinese nation, and set our ancient country on a new journey.
During the war, through enormous national sacrifice, the Chinese people held their ground in the main Eastern theater of World War II, thus making a major contribution to overall victory. In their war against Japanese aggression, the Chinese people received extensive support from the international community. The Chinese people will always remember how the people of other countries contributed to victory in their War of Resistance.
The experience of war makes people value peace all the more. The aim of our commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and World War II is to bear history in mind, honor all those who laid down their lives, cherish peace, and build a new future.
Ravaging through Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, that war inflicted over 100 million military and civilian casualties. China suffered over 35 million casualties and the Soviet Union lost more than 27 million lives. The best way to honor those heroes who gave their lives to the cause of freedom, justice and peace, and to mourn the loss of innocent lives brutally taken during the war, is to make sure that this historical tragedy will never repeat itself.
War is like a mirror. Looking into it helps us better appreciate the value of peace. Today, peace and development have become the prevailing trend, but the world is far from tranquil. War is the sword of Damocles that still hangs over mankind. We must learn the lessons of history and dedicate ourselves to peace.
In the interest of peace, we need to foster a keen sense of a global community of shared future. Prejudice, discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and suffering, while mutual respect, equality, peaceful development and common prosperity represent the right path to take. All countries should jointly uphold the international order and system underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, build a new model of international relations based on mutually beneficial cooperation, and advance the noble cause of global peace and development.
In the interest of peace, China will remain committed to peaceful development. We Chinese always love peace. No matter how much stronger it might become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation. The Chinese people are resolved to pursue friendly relations with all other peoples, defend the gains of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and World War II, and make a greater contribution to mankind.
The People's Liberation Army of China is the people's army. All its officers and men must bear in mind their responsibility of serving the people whole-heartedly. They must faithfully fulfill the sacred duty of protecting the nation's security and people's wellbeing, and carry out the noble mission of upholding world peace. Here, I announce that China will cut the number of its troops by 300,000.
As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "After making a good start, we should ensure that the cause comes to fruition."1 The rejuvenation of the Chinese nation requires the dedicated efforts of one generation after another. Having created a splendid civilization of over 5,000 years, the Chinese nation will certainly usher in an even brighter future.
Going forward, under the leadership of the CPC, all the people of China should take Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development as our guide to action. We should follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, pursue the Four pronged Strategy, promote patriotism and the great spirit of resisting aggression, and forge ahead as one to reach our goals.
Let us bear in mind the great truth of history: Justice will prevail. Peace will prevail. The people will prevail.
* Part of the speech at the Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and World War II.
1 Book of Songs (Shi Jing).
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)