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Speech at a Meeting Marking the 60th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War
2005-09-22

 

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. We are holding a grand meeting here to commemorate, together with the people around the world, the 60th anniversary of the victory, a victory of justice over evil, light over darkness, and progress over reaction.

The great victory won 60 years ago determined the future of the world and has been and will forever be engraved in the minds of all people who love peace and justice. By solemnly commemorating that victory, we will keep history firmly in mind, never forget the past, cherish peace and create a better future. To refresh the memory should spur us forward to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, so as to further promote the noble cause of peace and development of the human race.

The great victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was the result of the united struggle of all compatriots of the Chinese nation, as well as the solidarity of the Chinese people and their anti-Fascist allies worldwide. The Chinese people are proud of the great victory of their war of resistance, and of the great victory of the Anti-Fascist War they fought together with the peoples of the world as well.

On this solemn occasion, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the State Council, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and the Central Military Commission, I would like to extend our sincere respects to all war veterans, patriots and commanders who took part in the war of resistance, and all Chinese at home and abroad who contributed significantly to the victory of the war, and to extend our heartfelt gratitude to foreign governments and friends that supported and assisted the Chinese people during the war.

During that heart-stirring Anti-Fascist War, countless brave people laid down their lives for the victory. Their heroic deeds will go down in history and their spirit will live forever. I now propose that we all rise in silent tribute to the martyrs and the innocent victims of the war of resistance and the Anti-Fascist War.

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

The War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the Anti-Fascist War in the 1930s and 1940s were a life-and-death struggle between the countries and peoples that loved peace and justice and the ruthless enemies of human civilization. After World War I, the Fascist forces gradually seized state power in Germany, Italy and Japan. They exercised reactionary rule by brutally suppressing their own people and engaged in frenzied aggression and expansion abroad, giving rise to the two hotbeds of war in Asia and Europe. In an attempt to carve up the world, they recklessly launched barbaric wars of aggression in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific region, dragging the whole world into those bloody wars. Many nations were thus faced with the danger of extinction and human civilization was subjected to severe challenge. To defeat Fascist aggression and to save human civilization became the most urgent task of the time. Countries and peoples that loved peace and justice rose to fight. They built a worldwide united front against Fascism and conducted valiant struggles against Fascist aggressions.

The Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was an important part of the World Anti-Fascist War, and China was its main battleground in the East. In the second half of the 19th century, Japan embarked on a road of militarism and launched or participated in a number of wars of aggression, most of which were against China. In 1874, Japan invaded Taiwan. In 1894, it provoked the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and proceeded to occupy Taiwan. In 1904, Japan started a war against Russia, violating China's territorial integrity and sovereignty over northeast China. In 1931, it engineered the September 18th Incident, resulting in its occupation of the three northeastern provinces of China. In 1935, Japan provoked the North China Incident. Its ambition to annex China kept ballooning all those years. Finally Japan started an all-out war of aggression against China, marked by its shelling of the county seat of Wanping and attack on the Lugou Bridge on July 7, 1937. Japanese aggressors devastated large tracts of Chinese territory and occupied most of the major cities, attempting to colonize China and on that basis, annex the rest of Asia and dominate the world.

The brazen aggression against China by Japanese militarists plunged the country into an unprecedented national crisis. At this critical juncture when threatened by national subjugation and racial extinction, the Chinese people refused to be slaves and rose up in a heroic resistance. The September 18th Incident in 1931 marked the start of their War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, and the unrelenting struggle they put up on a local basis was, in fact, the prelude to the World Anti-Fascist War. In the wake of the September 18th Incident, the CPC called upon the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and the oppressed people to wage a national revolutionary war to drive Japanese imperialists out of China, and urged the various ethnic groups to get united in fighting against Japanese aggressors for national salvation and to oppose the policy of nonresistance. The December 9th Movement, which was inspired by the call of the CPC for national salvation and for resistance by the entire Chinese people, further awakened the Chinese nation and heralded an upsurge in its democratic campaign of resistance against Japanese aggression for national salvation. The Xi'an Incident started by Generals Chang Hsue-liang and Yang Hucheng and its peaceful resolution played an important role in ushering in a second Kuomintang (KMT)-CPC cooperation and unity of the two parties in fighting against Japanese aggression. The July 7th Incident in 1937 marked the outbreak of the World Anti-Fascist War in the East, in that China's national war of resistance opened the first battleground, massive in scale, in the world war against Fascism. Under the banner of the national united front against Japanese aggression, initiated by the CPC, the Chinese people, basing themselves on the KMT-CPC cooperation, fought against ferocious Japanese aggressors with unparalleled heroism.

During the heart-stirring national war of resistance, the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation were all of one mind, resolved to save the country. People from various political parties, ethnic groups, classes, social strata and organizations all rose to fight the common enemy at a time of this national crisis, so the flames of war against Japanese aggression were ablaze all over the country. Resistance forces under the leadership of the KMT and the CPC were engaged in operations against Japanese aggressors on frontal battlefields and in the enemy's rear respectively, forming a strategic common front against the enemy. As the main force on frontal battlefields, the KMT army organized a series of major campaigns, particularly the Shanghai, Xinkou, Xuzhou and Wuhan campaigns during the initial phase of the War, which dealt heavy blows to the Japanese army. In the enemy's rear areas, the CPC went all out to mobilize the masses to engage in an extensive guerrilla warfare. The Eighth Route Army, the New Fourth Army, the South China Guerrillas, the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, and other anti-Japanese armed forces of the people fought bravely against the Japanese occupation. The victory of the Pingxingguan Battle broke the myth that "the Japanese army is invincible." The Hundred-Regiment Campaign boosted the confidence of the soldiers and civilians throughout China to win the war of resistance. Operations in the enemy's rear areas pinned down and annihilated large numbers of Japanese troops and wiped out most of their puppet troops. Those areas gradually became the main battlefields. Sharing the hardships of their compatriots on the mainland, our compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese participated in or supported the war of resistance in various ways, and many of them laid down their lives for the country. In half a century of Japanese occupation of Taiwan, our compatriots there never ceased resistance and 650,000 of them died a heroic death. During this extraordinarily fierce war of resistance, Chinese soldiers and civilians fought bloody battles, one stepping into the breach the moment others fell. They marched forward courageously in defiance of enemy gunfire and the threat of death, and built a Great Wall of steel with their lives in defense of the motherland. With their heroism, they wrote a splendid and impressive epic. Generals of resistance forces such as Yang Jingyu, Zhao Shangzhi, Zuo Quan, Peng Xuefeng, Tong Linge, Zhao Dengyu, Zhang Zizhong, and Dai Anlan, and heroic groups such as the Eighth Route Army's five heroes on Mount Langya, the Liulaozhuang Company of the New Fourth Army, the eight women members of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, and the 800 heroes of the KMT army were outstanding representatives of the Chinese people in defying the brute force and fighting against the enemy heroically. In this protracted, bitter war of resistance, the Chinese people moved from the phase of strategic defense to the phase of strategic stalemate, then to the phase of strategic counter-offensive, and in the end defeated Japanese aggressors thoroughly, in step with the progress of the World Anti-Fascist War. On September 2, 1945, the Japanese Government officially signed the instrument of surrender, which meant the complete defeat of Japanese aggressors and the final victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. The Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War went down in the annals by the complete victory for the Chinese people and the peoples of other countries of the world.

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

Human society progresses in accordance with the laws of history. It is by no means fortuitous that the Chinese people won their War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression by inferior weapons and defeated an aggressor far superior in economic strength and military hardware.

With an unbending will and exemplary deeds, the CPC became the mainstay in the national war of resistance. With Comrade Mao Zedong as their outstanding representative, the Chinese Communists integrated Marxism-Leninism with the realities of the Chinese revolution and established and developed the scientific theory of Mao Zedong Thought, which was an important ideological and strategic guide for the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. By persisting in resistance and opposing compromise, adhering to unity and opposing division, upholding progress and opposing retrogression, the CPC became a standard bearer leading the national war of resistance to victory. The CPC energetically advocated, helped establish and safeguarded the national united front against Japanese aggression, mobilized the troops and civilians to the maximum for the war, and became an outstanding organizer and inspirer that rallied the entire nation around it. The CPC upheld the line of all-round resistance, formulated correct strategies and policies, implemented the line and policies of mobilizing and relying on the people, put forward the general strategic principle of a protracted war and a complete set of strategies and tactics for the people's war, created large numbers of battlefields in the enemy's rear, and became the core of resistance against Japanese aggression. Its admirable patriotism and formidable spirit of fearing no death made the CPC the hope of the Chinese people for national salvation and the vanguard of the nation in seizing victory in the war of resistance.

The great national awakening, the unprecedented national unity and the heroic national resistance of the Chinese people were the decisive factors for the victory of their War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. The Chinese nation has always upheld justice, loved peace, defied brute force and never yielded to any external pressure. The great war of resistance aroused the entire Chinese nation's awareness of crisis and sense of mission. In its record of resistance against foreign aggressions, never had the Chinese nation been so profoundly awakened, and so extensively mobilized, as during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, and never had it had so strong a will to fight and win. The concerted efforts of the military and civilians, the combined effect of armed and non-armed struggle, the coordination of struggles at the front and in the rear, the integration of overt and covert struggles, and especially the widespread use of ingenious tactics and methods characteristic of the guerilla warfare fought by the army and people in the enemy's rear such as ambushes and sabotage operations, and landmine, tunnel and "sparrow" warfare ? all these are spectacular military feats in the history of warfare which submerged the once rampant Japanese aggressors in the ocean of the people's war. This war tempered our great nation and our people won the great victory.

The victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was inseparable from the sympathy and support of all the peace- and justice-loving countries and peoples, international organizations and various anti-Fascist forces. The Soviet Union was the first to provide invaluable aid to the Chinese people in the war. The United States gave significant support to China's war efforts. The United Kingdom, France and other countries provided China with economic aid or entered into military cooperation with China. Anti-Fascist fighters from Korea, Vietnam, Canada, India, New Zealand, Poland, Denmark, and from Germany, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria and Japan as well, directly took part in China's war of resistance. In the last phase of the war, the Soviet Red Army marched into China's northeast battlefields and fought against Japan shoulder to shoulder with the Chinese military and civilians, thus speeding up the doom of Japanese aggressors. We will never forget those countries and foreign friends that rendered moral and material support to our war of resistance. We will never forget those foreign friends who helped Chinese refugees during the Rape of Nanjing and other massacres. We will never forget the American Flying Tigers who fought shoulder to shoulder with the Chinese military and opened up, at the risk of their lives, the Hump Route to deliver strategic supplies to China. We will never forget those foreign medical personnel who traveled long distances to China to help save lives. We will never forget those foreign journalists who truthfully reported and publicized China's war effort. We will never forget those foreign military advisors and others who contributed to China's victory of the war, in particular those Soviet Red Army soldiers who laid down their lives heroically in the battlefield of northeast China. Forever will the Chinese people remember the invaluable contributions made by people all over the world to the victory of China's war of resistance!

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

The War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was a war of national liberation, the first in modern history in which China won the complete victory over foreign aggressors. The victory of this war and the world war against Fascism was a major event in human history of the 20th century, in that it exerted a major, profound impact on the development of the Chinese nation and the progress of world civilization.

? The victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression brought about the thorough defeat of Japanese aggressors, safeguarded China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity and spared the Chinese nation of the misfortune of colonial enslavement. With a history of over 5,000 years, China has built a splendid, globally renowned civilization, and for a long time, was among the best developed in the family of nations. Nevertheless, it gradually fell behind due to the corruption and constraint of its feudal rule. Beginning in 1840, China was repeatedly invaded and trampled underfoot by imperialist powers, its national sovereignty and territorial integrity time and again encroached upon and the Chinese nation subjected to untold misery. The Chinese people rose up against foreign invasion only to suffer one defeat after another. By winning the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, however, the Chinese people thoroughly foiled the attempt of Japanese militarists to destroy China, putting a clear end to the record of humiliation suffered by China as a victim of repeated foreign aggression in modern times, and safeguarding the achievements it made in the course of its development over the millenniums. The victory of the war terminated Japan's 50-year-long colonial rule over Taiwan, restoring the province to the embrace of the motherland. China was one of the founders of the United Nations and became a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which noticeably enhanced China's international standing and influence. The experience of the Chinese people in winning the war demonstrates that the Chinese nation has the valor of fighting the enemy to the bitter end, the determination of recovering lost territories through its own efforts and the ability to stand proudly in the family of nations.

? The victory of the war further inspired the awakening of the Chinese nation and laid an important foundation for the complete independence and liberation of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC. In modern times, the Chinese people, especially those with lofty ideals, groped for a road of national salvation. The Revolution of 1911 led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen overthrew the autocratic monarchy of feudalism that had ruled China for millenniums, paving the way to progress. However, the revolution neither changed China's status as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society nor ended the miseries of its people. The aggression by Japanese militarists threatened the very survival of the Chinese nation. The danger of subjugation awakened the Chinese people. They began to think more deeply about the future of the Chinese nation and the right road of national rejuvenation. The test of the flames of war raised the Chinese people to an unprecedented high level in terms of ideology and organization. They were acutely aware that in order to achieve national rejuvenation and people's well-being, they must first obtain national independence and liberation and set up a people's democratic government so that the people are their own masters and take their destiny into their own hands. They were also keenly aware that the CPC's goal to transform old China and build a new China represents the right orientation of historical development and serves the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation, and that the CPC was the strong backbone leading the Chinese people's struggle for national independence and people's liberation. The victory of the war became a historical turning point in the Chinese nation's march toward rejuvenation. Precisely on the basis of this victory the CPC proceeded to lead the Chinese people in winning the new-democratic revolution and founding the People's Republic of China, which represents the greatest and most profound social transformation in China's history.

? The victory of the war promoted the great unity of the Chinese nation and carried forward its great spirit. In the war, the Chinese people became more united as never before, showing enormous cohesive force and vitality. The war was a trial of military and economic strength, but it was more of a contest of will and mind. In this great struggle of unparalleled magnitude, the Chinese nation further carried forward its indomitable spirit centered around patriotism as testified to by the following distinctive features: national dignity of putting the country's interests above everything else and preferring death to subjugation, national solidarity of fighting with one heart and one mind to save the country, national heroism of defying the brute force and fighting the enemy to the last drop of one's blood, national belief of self-reinforce by courageously relying on its own efforts and dauntlessness to prevail over aggressors, the innovative and pioneering spirit of blazing new trails in adverse times, and national devotion to justice and to the peace and progress of the human race. This great national spirit became the solid ideological foundation for and provided strong moral support to the Chinese people in their unity and perseverance in the war. Moreover, it was further enriched and refined in the flames of war. This spirit is the most valuable ideological treasure passed down from the great war of resistance that we should do our best to carry forward in a way that fits the new situation of the times.

? The victory of the war had a great impact on the great cause of the people in other countries to win the victory of the Anti-Fascist War and to safeguard world peace. The War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression constitutes a glorious page in the history of the World Anti-Fascist War, for it broke out much earlier and lasted the longest. For a long time, we Chinese contained and pinned down the main forces of Japanese militarism in the China Theater, and annihilated more than 1.5 million Japanese troops. This played a decisive role in the total defeat of Japanese aggressors. The war of resistance lent a strategic support to battles of China's allies, assisted the strategic operations in the Europe and Pacific theaters, and restrained and disrupted the attempt of Japanese, German and Italian Fascists to coordinate their strategic operations. As a major rear base of the Allied Forces against Japan in the Asia-Pacific region, China provided its allies with a great deal of strategic matériel and military intelligence. The victory of the war in China sets a shining example of the weak vanquishing the strong for the people all over the world and boosted the confidence and morale of the oppressed and victimized nations to carry on their liberation wars. The Chinese people made indelible historic contributions to the eventual defeat of the reactionary Fascist forces worldwide.

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

The World Anti-Fascist War was a war of unprecedented scale in the history of mankind, whose flames spread across Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, with more than 80 countries and regions and around 2 billion people involved. Fascist aggressors brought an untold disaster to the world and an unparalleled catastrophe to human civilization. Japanese aggressors wantonly trampled underfoot the beautiful land of China, slaughtered its soldiers and civilians, pressganged its laborers, and raped and tortured its women. They conducted germ and chemical warfare, committed a series of inhuman atrocities such as the Rape of Nanjing, crimes that deserved universal condemnation. The Chinese civilization of millenniums suffered disastrous destruction, and the Chinese nation, huge losses. According to incomplete statistics, China suffered over 35 million casualties, both military and civilian; China's direct economic losses exceeded US$ 100 billion and its indirect economic losses totaled more than US$ 500 billion, calculated at the price in 1937. Following the victory of the Anti-Fascist War, war criminals of the Nazi Germany were tried at the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, and Japanese war criminals were tried at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and the military tribunals in China, the Soviet Union and other countries. Those arch criminals who launched the wars of aggression and had their hands blotted with the blood of the people around the world received their due punishment. Justice and human dignity were upheld, and the common aspiration of the people who love peace and justice all over the world came true. Those are the trials of history! The just nature of the trials is unshakable and allows of no challenge!

The War Against Japanese Aggression and the Anti-Fascist War are just wars to stop aggression. This nature of the wars definitively rallied popular support and sealed the doom of aggressors. In the course of historical evolution, the human race has always been exploring the laws governing social progress and constantly pushing human civilization to a higher level. However, there are always forces that go against the historical trend and challenge human civilization by invading, looting, slaughtering and enslaving other nations in extremely barbarous ways. The victory of the War Against Japanese Aggression and the Anti-Fascist War has taught the people of the world a vivid and profound lesson and fully proved once again that the achievements of human civilization brook no destruction and its course of advance is not to be interrupted! The wheels of human peace and progress cannot be stopped! All evil, dark and reactionary forces will eventually be swept away by the powerful current of history!

The victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the Anti-Fascist War not only thoroughly destroyed the reactionary forces of Fascism in the world but also marked a major turning point in world development. The victory expanded the world's progressive forces, hit hard the old era's international system characterized by scramble of big powers for supremacy, undermined the foundation of world colonialism, promoted the struggle in colonies and dependencies for independence and national liberation, and opened a broad vista for the surging national liberation movements in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This victory saved human civilization and prevented a retrogression of history. It helped spread far and wide the basic values of freedom, democracy, equality, justice and peace, and promoted in a big way the awakening of the people of all countries, especially those of colonial and semi-colonial countries, thus exerting a sustaining influence on the development of human civilization. This victory served as the catalyst to found the United Nations, promoted the formulation of the Charter of the United Nations and the basic norms governing international relations, and started the establishment of a new mechanism for maintaining world peace and security, which was to exert a profound influence on the development of the postwar world situation.

In short, the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War is a victory for justice and peace, a victory of the people! It will be commemorated forever by the Chinese nation and by peoples of all countries!

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

Reviewing history will inspire and enlighten us so that we can better appreciate today's life and see clearly the way forward. The victory of Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War provides us much food for thought, for which the human race paid a heavy price. The conclusions we draw constitute a treasure for the entire human race and must be engraved in our minds.

Over the past 60 years, tremendous changes have taken place in human society and the world situation. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all peoples, the centuries-long colonial system has been completely destroyed, and a vast number of developing countries have emerged as an effective force on the international arena. The Cold War pattern which came into being after the war has been broken, and the forces safeguarding world peace have been growing constantly. Diversities of civilizations have continued and there has been growing democracy in international relations. The rising productivity and ever advancing science and technology are pushing the human race's material and cultural wealth to a new level. Peace, development and cooperation have become a common aspiration of all the peoples around the world. The human race has a splendid future.

Meanwhile, we must not fail to see that our planet is still far from being tranquil. Human society is still faced with grave challenges in the course of its development. Armed conflicts and regional wars arising from territorial, ethnic, religious and resources disputes have been going on without let-up. Terrorism remains a serious threat. Contradictions between unilateralism and multilateralism are complex. The people of many countries are still living in poverty and beset with difficulties in their development. Environmental pollution, the spread of major epidemics and various cross-border crimes have brought new threats to human security.

Our planet is the common home of all peoples. The challenges and problems facing human development have to be jointly addressed by the people of all countries. The governments and peoples throughout the world should join hands to undertake the historical mission of safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, and work energetically to promote the establishment of a fair and equitable new international political and economic order. We must respect the independence and sovereignty of all countries, as well as the right of peoples to independently choose their social systems and paths of development. We must establish a new concept of security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, and persist in settling international disputes by peaceful means, with a view to promoting harmonious coexistence for different countries. We must push for international configuration of multi-polarity and democracy in international relations. All countries, big and small, strong and weak, rich and poor, are equal members of the international community. Big countries should respect small ones, the strong should support the weak, and the rich should help the poor. We must work hard to promote the common development among all countries and the universal prosperity of the world at large. In particular, we must support and promote quicker development of the vast number of developing countries, reduce and eliminate poverty, and narrow the gap between the North and the South, so that we can share in the achievements of economic globalization and advancement of science and technology. We must preserve cultural diversity. In the spirit of equality and democracy, we must promote the peaceful coexistence of different civilizations, draw upon others' strengths to offset our weaknesses, thus achieving common development and making our world more colorful. We will join hands with other countries to address various global issues facing human development, and stand firm in opposing and combating terrorism. We support rational and necessary reforms of the United Nations, aimed at improving the authority and efficiency of the world body, seeking equitable representation of different countries, especially developing ones and bringing into better play the positive role of the United Nations and the UN Security Council in maintaining world peace and promoting common development. We believe that with the unremitting efforts of all the governments and peoples in the world, we are able to build a better world.

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

Over the past 60 years, the Chinese people have taken an extraordinary path of development. Since the founding of the People's Republic, under the central collective leadership of the three generations of CPC leaders, with Comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin at the core, the Chinese people, through self-reliance, have carried out reform and opening up and kept pace with the times. Building a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, they have made great achievements in building socialism that have caught the attention of the world. At present, the Chinese people, full of confidence, are working together to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and to basically achieve modernization by the middle of the century.

We must stay focused on the primary task of development, and strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Backwardness leaves one vulnerable to attacks ? this is the hard lesson the Chinese people have learnt from their tragic experience of repeated foreign invasions in modern history. A country has to strengthen itself before it can be sure of its place in the world. Pained to see the enduring impoverishment and weakness of China, which was at the mercy of other countries, Dr. Sun Yat-sen was the first to raise the resounding call for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. For over a hundred years, the Chinese people have made unremitting efforts and scored remarkable achievements toward this goal. However, we have to recognize that our country is still at the primary stage of socialism, and will remain so for many years to come. It takes persistent and hard work to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to achieve our great national rejuvenation. We must adhere firmly to the strategic thinking that development is of overriding importance, keep a firm grasp of and make good use of the window of strategic opportunities, stick to the scientific outlook on development in guiding overall economic and social development, continue to concentrate on economic development, push for comprehensive progress in socialist economic, political and cultural undertakings as well as in the building of a harmonious society, steadily enhance the economic and scientific strength and defense capabilities and the cohesive force of the Chinese nation, and constantly satisfy the growing material and cultural needs of the people, thus continuing to create a new situation in building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

We must hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, and keep steadfastly to the road of peaceful development. It is only through the road of peaceful development that the progress of the human race and the prosperity of a nation shall and can be achieved. History tells us that any attempt by a country to realize its interests through the use or threat of force, or to place its interests above those of other nations will get nowhere. Such attempts are against the tide of history of human development and against the fundamental interests of people all over the world. Having suffered bitterly from the scourge of war in modern times, the Chinese people are keenly aware of the value of peace. China will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and carry out the policy of opening to the outside world in all dimensions. On the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China will conduct extensive economic and technological cooperation and scientific and cultural exchanges with other countries and regions. As we do so, we will seize the favorable opportunity of world peace and development to develop ourselves while at the same time promoting world peace and development with our own growth, aiming for a win-win result to everyone's benefit. China is forever an important force safeguarding world peace. China has never sought hegemony, and never will in the future. The Chinese people will work together with other peoples of the world to promote the noble cause of peace and development and to make greater contribution to mankind.

We must unswervingly consolidate the great unity of the Chinese nation and carry forward its great spirit. Solidarity and hard working among the Chinese people of all ethnic groups including compatriots living in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and overseas Chinese are a source of strength for the Chinese nation to move toward great rejuvenation. We will continue to consolidate the great unity of all ethnic groups as well as unity of the Chinese people at home and overseas, in order to gather the whole nation's strength to the maximum and form the huge force propelling the Chinese nation to strive unceasingly for progress and keep forging ahead. We must highly cherish China's favorable conditions of thriving growth, stability and unity, jointly safeguard the overall situation of reform, development and stability, and constantly push forward reform, opening up and the modernization drive with one heart and one mind. We must carry forward our national spirit with patriotism at its core so as to provide powerful spiritual support to the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to share weal and woe and blaze new trails, and encourage our people of generations to come to make concerted efforts for a prosperous and strong China.

We must firmly safeguard our national sovereignty and territorial integrity and vigorously advance the great cause of peaceful reunification of the motherland. We Chinese people love our country, and will consistently and unswervingly safeguard our national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, which brook no violation by any forces. We must strengthen national defense and military modernization, adhere to the military strategy of active defense, constantly promote military reforms with Chinese characteristics, and improve defense and combat capabilities under the information technology conditions to provide a strong guarantee for the security of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will stick to the fundamental principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems," as well as the eight-point proposal for the current stage of efforts to develop cross-Straits relations and advance the process of peaceful national reunification. We will never waver in our commitment to the one-China principle, never give up efforts to strive for peaceful reunification, never change our policy of placing hopes on the people of Taiwan and never compromise in our opposition to secessionist activities. We will earnestly implement the agreements reached in talks with the leaders of the KMT, the People First Party and the New Party, adopt every forward-looking measure to increase cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation in various fields, promote personnel exchanges, deepen kinship between compatriots on both sides of the Straits, fully accommodate Taiwan compatriots' interests, promote peaceful and steady growth of cross-Straits relations, and safeguard peace and stability in the region. We resolutely oppose "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces and their secessionist activities, and will never permit them to secede Taiwan from the motherland in any name and by any means. We will continue to work with the vast number of Taiwan compatriots to accomplish the sacred mission of opposing secession and promoting peaceful reunification.

We must unswervingly strengthen the Party's governing capacity and preserve its advanced nature to ensure that it always stays in the forefront of the times. History has eloquently proved that only when it adheres to the leadership of the CPC and the socialist road with Chinese characteristics can the Chinese nation create a brighter future. To better unite the people and lead them in their march forward, the Party must work hard to improve itself. We must always meet the essential requirements of building the Party to serve the public interest and running the government for the benefit of the people. We should persevere in exercising power for the people's benefit, sharing their concerns and placing their interests first. We must make sure that the Party's theory, line and principles meet the requirements of the times and represent the wish of the people. We should continue to bring about, safeguard and extend the basic interests of the overwhelming majority of the people. While focusing on the improvement of the Party's governing capacity, we should carry out the great new program for Party building which lays down two tasks of historic significance, namely, constantly improving the art of leadership and our governing capacity and increasing our capability of fighting corruption and responding to risks. To better accomplish the mission of running the country, it is important to raise our innovation capacity, cohesion and effectiveness. We should make unremitting efforts to preserve the advanced nature of the Party, emancipate our minds, seek truth from facts and keep pace with the times. We should never become complacent and slacken our efforts. We need to examine and evaluate ourselves by the standards which evolve with the times and strengthen and improve ourselves in a spirit of reform so that the Party will always maintain its vigor and vitality, and stay in the forefront of the times as the strong leadership core that unites and leads the people in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

Both China and Japan are influential countries in Asia and around the world. In the long course of China-Japan relations over two millenniums, friendship has been the mainstream. The war of aggression against China launched by Japanese militarism in modern times not only brought enormous calamity to the Chinese people, but also inflicted dire misery on the Japanese people. It was only a small group of Japanese militarists who planned and launched the war. After the end of the war, many Japanese from all walks of life faced squarely the historical fact that Japanese militarists had launched the war of aggression against foreign countries and strongly denounced the atrocities Japanese aggressors had committed in China. Many Japanese soldiers who participated in the war of aggression repented of their crimes of war with all sincerity and henceforth they have done a lot to promote the friendship between Japan and China. Their conscience and courage are highly commendable.

The Chinese Government has always attached importance to the Sino-Japanese relations, stayed committed to the policy of promoting the Sino-Japanese friendship and made unremitting efforts to that end. Since the founding of New China, the Chinese Government and people have worked hard to improve the bilateral ties between China and Japan and carry forward the traditional friendship between the two peoples. Together with farsighted Japanese political figures and personages from various walks of life, we normalized relations between our two countries. Over the years, the Sino-Japanese relations have kept developing, trade and economic cooperation expanding, and personnel exchanges increasing. All this gives expression to the shared desire of our two peoples for peace, friendship and mutual development. It is also the result of the joint efforts of Chinese and Japanese leadership of several generations and personages of vision. We have every reason to cherish and painstakingly cultivate our friendship. However, it must be pointed out that for a long time, there have been forces in Japan that have categorically denied the aggressive nature of the war Japan launched against China and the crimes it committed, and have tried their best to whitewash its militarist aggression and call back the spirit of those Class A war criminals who have been condemned by history. Such actions have not only breached the Japanese Government's commitment regarding historical issues, but also shaken the political foundation of the Sino-Japanese relations, thus badly hurting the feelings of the Chinese and other Asian peoples concerned. The past, if not forgotten, can serve as a guide for the future. By emphasizing the need to always remember the past, we do not mean to continue the hatred. Instead, we want to draw lessons from history and be forward-looking. Only by remembering the past and drawing lessons from it can one avoid the repetition of historical tragedies. We hope that the Japanese Government and its leaders will, with a highly responsible attitude toward history, the people and the future, and proceeding from the overall interest of the Sino-Japanese friendship, regional stability and development of Asia, handle historical issues in a serious and prudent manner and translate the apologies and remorse they have expressed for that war of aggression into concrete actions. I wish to take this opportunity to reaffirm that the policy of the Chinese Government to carry forward the Sino-Japanese friendship and cooperation remains unchanged. We will strictly observe the three bilateral political documents, namely, the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between China and Japan and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration. We will steadfastly seek proper settlement of our differences through dialogue and equal-footed negotiations, strengthen our exchanges and cooperation in a broad range of areas and step up friendly interactions between the two peoples for greater mutual understanding and broader common interests. We are committed to promoting the Sino-Japanese friendship and cooperation in the 21st century with real actions, so as to ensure sound and steady growth of the Sino-Japanese relations and lasting friendship between the two peoples for generations to come.

Compatriots, Comrades and Friends,

Looking over the past, we are seized with emotions of all kinds. Looking into the future, we are full of confidence. In the past 5,000-plus years, the Chinese nation went through innumerable trials and tribulations, but remained as vibrant as ever in its self-improving effort, making indelible contributions to the advancement of human civilization. Today, the Chinese nation is facing a rare historical opportunity for development and the bright vista of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is unfolding before us. All the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation ? our compatriots on the mainland, in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and overseas Chinese, should feel proud to be members of this nation, assume the historical responsibilities of revitalizing it, and work hard to write a glorious new chapter in the annals of its development. Let us further close our ranks and continue working to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation! Let us continue working hard to build a world that enjoys peaceful development, advanced cultures, and progress!

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