A Film Reception Commemorating The 70th Anniversary Of The Victory Of The Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression And The World Anti-Fascist War Held At The Consulate General
2015/09/09

On the 1st September, a film reception commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War was held at the Consulate General. Mr. PAN Xinchun, Consul General, delivered a keynote speech, and watched feature documentaries “Truth and Denial” and “The PLA of Today” with guests at the reception. Mme. Helen Moonie, Provost of South Ayrshire, Mr. Mike Robbins, Provost of Stirling, Mr. Jamie McGrigor MSP, Mr. Ian Donaldson, Deputy Director of International Division of the Scottish Parliament, Prof. Richard Williams OBE, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, Mme. Sue Liddell-Caton, niece of Scottish legend doctor Mr. Eric Liddell, and more than 50 other distinguished guests from the Cross-Party Group on China in the Scottish Parliament, Scotland-China Education Network and Scotland China Association attended the function.

Consul General Pan said, 70 years ago, Japan signed the unconditional surrender, marking the Victory of Chinese People's Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and also the final victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. To this end, China will hold a solemn commemoration in Beijing on 3rd September. Today we are honoured to invite distinguished Scottish friends to join us in the special reception to commemorate the historic moment, to preserve peace and build a better future. The great victory is the outcome of close and sincere cooperation between China and world anti-fascist alliance counterparts in the fight against our common enemy. During the War, China received enormous support from many governments and peoples including UK, which came to China's help with economic aid and military cooperation. In the Far East, British soldiers fought side by side with their Chinese comrade-in-arms, sustaining tremendous losses including heavy casualties of 90 thousand on the battlefield, of whom 36 thousand died. Even Japanese POW camps alone saw the deaths of 12 thousand British soldiers. Among many victims, Mr. Eric Liddell, a legendary Scot, is particularly well known and remembered in China. We wish from the bottom of our heart the friendship between Chinese and British peoples rooted in the World Anti-Fascist War will stay forever and never be forgotten. We wish friendship between China and Scotland will continue to develop for ages. We wish the world will be far away from war and people around the world live in peace together.

At the second part of the reception, Consul General Pan invited all guests to watch the feature documentary “Truth and Denial”, which reflected the attitude of the Japanese government to the invasion history, and “The PLA of Today”. After nearly two hours watching, the audience enthusiastically responded to the documentaries, saying it is their very first time to appreciate the significant historic contribution of the Chinese people to the Victory through Mr. Pan’s informative keynote speech and the documentary. Some guests commented that there wasn’t enough publicity about the stories of the Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in the past, but the documentary reveals so many important historic facts of the Chinese theatre of the World Anti-Fascist War. Actually Chinese people made a great sacrifice and significant contribution to the world Anti-Fascist War, which the rest of the world shouldn’t forget. After the reception, Consul General Pan presented a set of latest documentary DVDs telling the story of the Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression to guests.

 

Speech by Consul General PAN Xinchun at Commemoration of 70th Anniversary of the Victory of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War

1st September 2015

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening.

Welcome to the Chinese Consulate General to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of Chinese People's Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

70 years ago, in September 2, 1945, Japan signed the unconditional surrender, marking the Victory of Chinese People's Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and also the final victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. To this end, China will hold a solemn commemoration in Beijing on 3rd September. Today, we are honoured to invite distinguished Scottish friends to join us, in this very special reception to commemorate the historic moment, to preserve peace and build a better future.

In 1931, Japanese militarists flagrantly launched the war of aggression against China, occupying three provinces in Northeast China. In 1937, with a further militaristic ambition, Japanese invaders spreaded the war across China in an attempt to annex the whole country. They committed speechless atrocities by slaughtering millions of Chinese people, turning China into a living hell and bringing calamity to its people. Faced with the critical moment of survival, the Chinese people were united in a life-and-death resistance against aggressors. From 1931 to 1945, as a main battlefield in the Far-East, China theatre pinned down and depleted two thirds of Japanese troops by wiping out over one and half million Japanese aggressors, striking a crushing blow to the Japanese militarists. Strategically, China provided a strong support to allied operations in Europe and the Pacific theatre, playing a decisive role in the final defeat of the Japanese militarist forces, which has undoubtedly indelible historic significance. However, China paid a huge price for the victory with more than 35 million Chinese either died or injured, equivalent to 70% of the total population of UK at the end of World War II, while the total economic losses China suffered were estimated at 600 billion U.S. dollars, amounting to 22 times of UK GDP at the same time.

Friends,

The victory is China’s first complete victory in resistance against foreign invasions since modern times. It crashed Japanese militarists’ plots of colonizing and enslaving China, terminated the disgrace of defeat in the fight against foreign aggression in modern history, re-established China’s status in the world. The Chinese people won the respect from peace-loving people around the world and opened up bright prospects for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. On a global perspective, Chinese resistance has made significant contribution to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the creation of world peace.

China cultivated the great national spirit during the Resistance against Japanese Aggression, which is a magnificent national epic. What exactly is that national spirit? The spirit is the patriotism shown by each and every countryman shouldering responsibility to protect the motherland, the heroism of choosing to die with dignity rather than to live with humiliation, the triumphalism of all Chinese people, both at home and abroad, working together to win victory, and the common cause of uniting progressive forces globally to defeat evil by justice. As Chinese President XI Jinping pointed out, the great spirit of Chinese People’s Resistance against Japanese Aggression is the precious spiritual treasure of the Chinese people, as well as a great spiritual drive inspiring the Chinese people to overcome any obstacles in the realization of the Chinese dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Friends,

The great victory is the outcome of not only successive heroic struggles waged by all our compatriots both at home and abroad, but also close and sincere cooperation between China and world anti-fascist alliance counterparts in the fight against our common enemy. During the War, China received enormous support from many governments and peoples including UK, which came to China's help with economic aid and military cooperation. In the Far East, British soldiers fought side by side with their Chinese comrade-in-arms, sustaining tremendous losses including heavy casualties of 90 thousand on the battlefield, of whom 36 thousand died. Even Japanese POW camps alone saw the deaths of 12 thousand British soldiers.

Among many victims, Mr. Eric Liddell, a legendary Scot, is particularly well known and remembered in China. Born in Tianjin, China, Mr. Liddell was engaged in education for 20 years before his trip to China. After an unsuccessful application to get enlisted in the Scottish Air Force to fight against Nazi in 1941, Mr. Liddell returned to northern China to help the sick and refugees, ended up being arrested by Japanese militarists, and sadly passed away in a Japanese concentration camp on 21st February 1945 due to long-term overwork and malnourishment. After the war, Mr. Liddell was buried in the martyrs' cemetery in northern China. May he rest in peace in his beloved land. Today we are deeply honoured to have Mr. Liddell's niece with us, and please allow me to introduce her to you, madam Sue Liddell Caton!

Friends,

Evidence against the atrocities of Japanese militarist aggression is irrefutable. However, it is regrettable that Japanese government today still refuses to face squarely its history of aggression and shoulder their responsibility. Moreover, some forces try to distort history of the War by repudiating the truth of the aggression in order to whitewash Japanese militarism. What is more worrying, the Japanese right wing force is becoming increasingly arrogant with attempts to instigate Japan to amend its peaceful constitution, which is out of step with the global tide of peace.

As a Chinese saying goes, the past, if not forgotten, serves as a guide for the future. We urge Japan to squarely face and deeply reflect on its war crimes committed in the War 70 years ago, neither because we want to prolong hatred nor to extend calamity. We remember history in order to embrace future based on lessons from the past. Historical issues not only impact political foundations of Sino-Japanese relations, but also effect feelings of the Chinese people. China and Japan are destined to be neighbors, separated only by a strip of water. For China and Japan to develop stable and healthy relations of friendship from generation to generation, Japan should learn from history, take concrete measures to embark on peaceful development so as to maintain peace and prosperity in Asia and the whole world.

Friends,

70 years ago, the common mission of resistance war against Fascists brought China and UK together. 70 years on, China and UK are enjoying comprehensive and strategic partnership, while the friendship and mutual beneficial cooperation between China and Scotland has also developed at a fast pace, and borne many fruits, with high-level political exchanges and other pragmatic cooperation in every fields having achieved huge success. The First Minister Ms. Sturgeon made her first but very successful visit to China in July this year, further strengthening the cooperation in many aspects between China and Scotland. Today, our trade volume has realized double-digit growth, coupled with an increasing number of Chinese people coming to Scotland for study, investment, and holiday as well.

In this coming October, Chinese President Xi Jinping will come to UK for a State Visit. This visit will become a milestone and start a "Golden Time" in China-UK relationship, pushing our relationship to a new high. We wish from the bottom of our heart the friendship between Chinese and British peoples rooted in the World Anti-Fascist War will stay forever and never be forgotten. We wish friendship between China and Scotland will continue to develop for ages. We wish the world will be far away from war and people around the world live in peace together.

In the end, please allow me to conclude my speech with a poem by Robert Burns.

By Oppression’s woes and pains!

By your sons in servile chains!

We will drain our dearest veins,

But they shall be free!

Thank you.

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CONSULATE-GENERAL OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN EDINBURGH 2009 Copyright