Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the first official commemoration ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1937 Japanese massacre at Nanjing (known in history as “the Rape of Nanking”).
300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians were reportedly mssacred and some 20,000 Chinese women raped.
At this important ceremony, commemorating what some believe was the single greatest atrocity at one time during World War II in either the European or the Pacific theater, Xi made important statements reaffirming China’s dedication to upholding international peace.
Mich Song, ed., “President Xi attends China’s first state commemoration for Nanjing Massacre victims,” Xinhuanet, December 13, 2014 (16:41).
The Xinhuanet article reports as follows:
Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China’s capital, on Dec. 13 of 1937 and started a 40-odd-day slaughter. More than 300,000 Chinese soldiers, who had laid down their arms, and civilians were murdered and about 20,000 women were raped.
Xi, who wore a white flower on his lapel, said the ceremony was held to commemorate innocent victims in the massacre, compatriots killed by Japanese aggressors, as well as revolutionary martyrs and heroes who devoted their lives to victory in the war against Japanese aggression.
“The purpose of the memorial ceremony for Nanjing Massacre victims is to recall that every good-hearted person yearns for and holds a firm stance of peace, but does not try to prolong hatred,” Xi said.
“Only if everyone cherishes and safeguards peace, and only if everyone remembers the bitter lessons of war can there be hope for peace,” he said.
The Chinese and Japanese people should live in friendship from generation to generation and make joint efforts to contribute to the peace of humanity, he said.
“We should not bear hatred against an entire nation just because a small minority of militarists launched aggressive wars. The responsibility for war crimes lies with a few militarists, but not the people. However, we cannot at any time forget the severe crimes committed by aggressors,” he said.
People who love peace and justice must remain highly cautious and firmly oppose words and actions that glorify war, he added.
Japan first invaded the northeast portion of China in 1931. In 1937, it invaded the rest of the country.
The Trenchant Observer