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Peace and Justice Are the Main Theme of China’s Military Parade

Sep 17 , 2015
  • Yin Chengde

    Research Fellow, China Foundation for International Studies

The military parade in commemoration of the end of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression on September 3 drew the attention of the whole world. It fully served its purpose of remembering the war and upholding the spirit of the War of Resistance. It demonstrated China’s determination to maintain peace, displayed the strength of the Chinese nation and armed forces, and significantly uplifted the morale of the Chinese people. It was a bugle call that rallied the Chinese people to strive for the renewal of the Chinese nation.

The parade was a test to China’s military strength. Veterans of the War of Resistance who had experienced and stood the test of that bloody war were among the first to be reviewed during the parade. Their presence signified Chinese people’s deep respect for that period of history and ardent aspiration for peace. The parade was a showcase of the heroic and fearless spirit of the Chinese armed men and women. The weapons displayed in the parade included advanced combat armaments for the army, navy and air force, as well as cutting-edge strategic weaponry serving both defensive and offensive purposes. And all these weapons are homemade, with 84% of them on display for the first time. They testify to the impressive progress China has made in defense capability alongside the growth of its economy.

The theme of the September 3 celebrations spearheaded by the parade was “Remembering the History, Mourn the Lost Heroes, Cherish Peace and Create a Better Future”. The core is to defend justice and peace. There are accusations that China’s military parade is aimed at “flexing muscles” to intimidate other countries. This is a ridiculous accusation that distorts facts and reality. To judge whether a display of military force is “flexing muscles”, we should not only look at the weapons and rhetoric, but also strategy orientation and actions. It is true that some countries, based on power politics and expansionist policy, have flexed muscles through military exercises to put pressure on others and frighten away rivals. China’s military parade is not muscle flexing, but rather a display of its strength as a force for justice and peace. Its purpose is to inspire its people and deter possible aggressors. This is dictated by China’s peaceful development strategy and defensive defense policy. China means what it says and is a staunch force for world peace.

China experienced untold suffering during more than a hundred years of wars of aggression by big powers. During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression that lasted for 14 years, in particular, China encountered unprecedented disasters and sacrifice. History tells us that a nation that lags behind will undoubtedly be bullied and humiliated. A strong defense capability is a must if we want to avoid recurrence of the tragic experience, safeguard the security of the nation and people and defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The parade showed that the Chinese nation and its military force are strong enough to resist any foreign aggression. On the other hand, having experienced the scourge of wars, China knows full well the value of peace. It is China’s state policy to uphold world peace, and its defense strategy is defensive in nature. China will never seek hegemony and expansion, and never inflict its past suffering on any other nation. China’s decision to cut its military forces by 300,000, which was announced during the commemorative events, was a strong indication of China’s pursuit of peace. We cherish peace, but we are not afraid of wars. Only in this way can war be avoided. Only when a nation is capable of winning a war can it shun its enemies and win peace. This is the main message the parade is trying to send to the world.

Another highlight of the parade is that it was a gathering and display of world forces for peace. Heads of state and government representatives from 49 countries attended the commemoration events, and 17 of them sent troops to attend the parade. The presence of so many countries is a testimony to the deep friendship between China and these countries as well as their appreciation and support for the parade that was aimed to uphold peace and justice.

Peace and development are the two themes of the world today. But the world is still not peaceful and the shadow of war still hang over the horizon. A big power continues to pursue its “China containment” strategy, and colludes with another country led by ultra-right forces–a country that distorts history, glorifies aggression and challenges the post-WWII world order. They have strengthened military alliance, and stirred up trouble in the East China Sea and South China Sea. Their intention is apparent. Under such circumstances, oblivion of past wars will lead to danger and appeasement means disaster. We must be fully aware of the danger and risks, always be prepared and make unremitting efforts to strengthen our military capability so as to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests and at the same time make contribution to world peace and justice.

In the important speech he delivered during the commemoration gathering, General Secretary Xi Jinping aptly summed up the significance of the parade when he called on the Chinese people to bear in mind the great truth of history, confident that justice will prevail, peace will prevail and the people will prevail. This conforms to the logic of history and the trend of the times.

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