President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), addresses a symposium commemorating the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War in Beijing, capital of China, Sept 3, 2020. The symposium was held by the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the CMC at the Great Hall of the People. [Photo/Xinhua]
Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech on resisting Japanese aggression on Sept 3 is not only about the Chinese will to carry on the spirit of resisting aggression and follow a unique path to prosperity, but also about unity against disruptions of global peace, according to analysts.
In his speech at a symposium commemorating the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, Xi stressed carrying forward in the new era the great spirit of resisting aggression and striving to achieve national rejuvenation.
Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said the speech by the Chinese leader is about "avoiding the recurrence of a war just like what happened in the World War II".
This can be done by "strengthening people-to-people bonds across the national border - which is one of the main themes of the Belt and Road Initiative."
Commenting on Xi's speech in Beijing, Emeritus Professor Colin Mackerras of Griffith University, one of Australia's leading Sinologists, said China had modernized more than any other country over the last 75 years since 1945 when it achieved victory over Japanese aggression.
Xi said the war is the Chinese people's longest and largest fight against foreign aggression in modern times, which came with greatest sacrifice but led to the Chinese people's first complete victory in national liberation.
And the great victory was a historic turning point in which the Chinese nation rose from severe crisis in modern times and embarked on a journey toward great rejuvenation, Xi said.
China "has gone from a poor, oppressed country, destroyed by war and destitution to an economic and strategic powerhouse, with confident and prosperous people proud of their country and its achievements. China is unique in history for its speed of economic modernization and its rise," Mackerras said.
"In my opinion, the ones who deserve credit for China's rise are the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party. We know that the Chinese people are a hard-working people with great confidence and stamina," Mackerras added.
However, they definitely need leadership.
"We can see many periods in the past when they have been bowed down, impoverished and humiliated. What separates all but four of the years since 1945 has been the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. So I think it is reasonable to give credit to the Chinese people under the good and effective leadership of the Chinese Communist Party," he said.
Xi's underscoring of five "never-allow" scenarios in his speech caught the attention of many. Xi said:
"-- The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to distort the history of the CPC or smear the Party's nature and mission.
-- The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to distort and alter the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, or deny and vilify the great achievements the Chinese people have made in building socialism.
-- The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to separate the CPC from the Chinese people or counter-pose the Party to the Chinese people.
-- The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to impose their will on China through bullying, change China's direction of progress, or obstruct the Chinese people's efforts to create a better life.
-- The Chinese people will never allow any individual or any force to jeopardize their peaceful lives and right to development, obstruct their exchanges and cooperation with other peoples, or undermine the noble cause of peace and development for humanity."
"This speech is also a reminder that China is united, stable and is an important player in international affairs," Mustafa Izzuddin, senior international affairs analyst at political consultancy firm Solaris Strategies Singapore, told China Daily.
Izzuddin said the speech is in line with what President Xi has been saying, "which is to look at the events of the past to remind Chinese citizens that it's important to have a strong domestic core".
"Xi is using the lessons of history to ensure that the painful event won't be repeated," Izzuddin said.
"Xi's speech is a rallying call to Chinese people to remember what happened in the past and how they overcome them. They need to be strong within to be able to keep China safe and secure, in the face of many challenges," he said.
The Chinese president also expressed heartfelt appreciation to foreign governments and friends around the world for their support and help for China in the war against Japanese aggression. He also offered deep condolences to martyrs who laid down their lives for the final victory, and to victims who were brutally slaughtered by aggressors.
The victory belonged to the Chinese people, and also to all people across the world, he said, adding it will go down in the history of the Chinese nation, as well as in the history of humanity's fight for justice, Xi said.
Aaron Jed Rabena, a research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress, a Manila-based foreign policy think tank, echoed that thought: "I think President Xi is trying to draw an analogy" from the past.
"That like before, China will stand up to whoever intends to undermine their interests and intervene in their progress and development," he said.
Mackerras added China has suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, just as have all other countries. "I think the Chinese leadership has controlled the pandemic better than in other countries," he said.
Oh Ei Sun said nowadays, after the onslaught of the pandemic, building people-to-people bonds is also about economic cooperation.
"I think a lot of countries are looking to China because these countries have to create local jobs as the unemployment rate is at an all-time high," he said.
Xinhua contributed to the report.