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A nation that swears by people, peace and justice

By Mourad Alami (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-05 09:57

A nation that swears by people, peace and justice

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the Tian'anmen Rostrum before the parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Sept 3, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

China marked the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and World War II with various activities and a victory parade in Beijing on Thursday. In his speech on the occasion, President Xi Jinping thanked the people from foreign countries that helped China fight the Japanese aggressors.

This is not to say that Chinese do not have a liking for Japan and Japanese products. For example, Japanese products remain popular in China and many Chinese school and university students are still learning the Japanese language. What Chinese people hate is the attitude of some Japanese leaders toward Japan's brutal past; the Chinese have a problem with Japanese policies, not with the Japanese people.

As Xi said in his speech while referring to colonialism, some countries are arrogant enough to think they are better than other countries and, therefore, people in those countries have to be their slaves. Nazi Germany thought the same way and started the most devastating war in human history, which also led to its downfall.

But today's Germans do not want to even hear about war; they have apologized for the atrocities committed by the Nazis and want to live in peace. During World War II, Germany and France were the greatest of enemies, but now they are the engines of development in Europe.

A nation that swears by people, peace and justice
Mourad Alami(photo provided to China Daily)

This should be a lesson for Japan, whose current government refuses to repent its militaristic past. Hopefully, Japan will follow Germany and learn how to work with China for a better mutual future.

In this context, the Chinese president was right to seek justice for the sufferings of Chinese people under Japanese occupation, because without justice, peace cannot be permanent.

Xi also announced that China's military will cut its number by 300,000 by the end of 2017. This should allay fears of people who see China as a threat. China is a peaceful country and will remain so thanks to its long history and unique capability to adapt to and integrate foreign influences in its culture.

Xi closed his speech with words such as justice, peace (which he used several times) and people. Justice is important because without it, society will become a lawless and valueless jungle. Without peace, there cannot be any development, prosperity, security or territorial integrity.

And justice and peace are the outcome of people's demand, which China has in abundance.

The author is a German language professor in Hefei University.

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