Justice will Prevail, Peace will Prevail, the People will Prevail!
March 30,2017 By:CSHRS
Justice will Prevail, Peace will Prevail, the People will Prevail!
In commemoration of 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the Global War against Fascism, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech, in which he solemnly put forward, “Let us bear in mind the great truth of history: Justice will prevail! Peace will prevail! The people will prevail!”
The Three Prevail is not only an encapsulation of the history of the Chinese people’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the Global War against Fascism, but also a solemn call for joint efforts to build a community of common destiny, and an enthusiastic appeal to cherish and defend peace. It has sounded the strong note of peace and development, and pointed out the direction for the world to embark on a path of peaceful development.
Justice will prevail. Although twists and turns are inevitable in history, it has been proven in the past seven decades that clouds eventually will not shadow the sun. For the main Eastern battlefield for the Global War against Fascism, a final conclusion would be that: however menacing it may be, evil cannot be sustained; it is seemingly powerful, but feeble in essence; it might be rampant for a while, but will eventually be vanquished. Justice will always triumph over evil, light will overcome darkness and progress will triumph over reaction. Justice will prevail, but we must strive to secure its prevalence. We are reiterating the need to remember history, not for advocating hatred, but for preventing denial, distortion or alteration of history and the revival of militarism, and for maintaining the hard-won victory of World War II and international justice.
Peace will prevail. Prejudice and discrimination, hatred and war, brutality and aggression, hegemony and violence, will only bring disaster and suffering. However, all those challenging or sabotaging peace, no matter how sound their excuses may seem, how great fanfare they may flaunt, how numerous the performances they may stage, they will invariably end up in self-inflicted doom. In China, there is an old saying that “in observation of ritual, the emphasis should be placed on harmony. That is why the art of ruling by ancient emperors are cherished.” The observation is of relevance even today and is universally applicable around the world. Peace will prevail, but we must strive to secure its prevalence. The vision of “One Belt and One Road Initiative” proposed by China is creating a new composition on land and in the ocean. Adhering to the philosophy of peaceful development, cooperation and mutual benefit, the Chinese people are willing to join hands with people around the world, to build a beautiful homestead, and create a peaceful future. Mutual respect, equality and coexistence, peaceful development and common prosperity, dedication to building a community of common destiny for all mankind, are the justifiable human endeavors.
The people will prevail. The people, and the people alone, have the power to make history. Only when the people stand up to fight, can the continuation of history be guaranteed. Peace will prevail, but we must strive to promote victory. The just ground held by the Chinese people in remembering history and cherishing the memory of martyrs and peace for the future has greatly inspired the national spirit, encouraged all the people, and caused a strong resonance among peace-loving people around the world.
President Xi Jinping has in the important speech fondly recalled the difficulties undergone by the Chinese People in the War, fully acknowledged the major contribution of the Chinese people to the Global War against Fascism, unambiguously expressed the firm determination of China adhering to the road of peaceful development and safeguarding world peace. The Three Prevail are forceful, as proven by history. The three iron laws are irrefutable, and those following them shall prosper, while those going against them will perish. Although those going against them may inadvertently have their ways for the time being, they are doomed without exception. If China believes and upholds them, it will become invincible. It is universal around the world.
The three iron laws, of course, also apply to Japan. The people of Japan, especially all the insightful people of Japan, are very clear about this. They have the same belief, but they will have to make concerted efforts toward the same end.
As China commemorates the 70th anniversary of victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the Global War against Fascism, should Japan deny and play down its history of aggression and continue to carry on with its negative asset, or should it profoundly repent its wrong-doing and rid itself of the burden? Should it remember the profound lessons of history, recognize and abide by the iron laws, or should it turn the clock back to the remorseful past, ignore and challenge the iron laws? It might want to think twice.
First, the political elites and intellectuals should abandon the rigid thinking of imposing their own values and models on others and surpass the narrow mentality of “Two tigers cannot live on the same mountain.”
Japan is the largest developed country in Asia, while China is the largest developing country in the world. The former desires continued development, and all-round development at that. The latter is developing rapidly, by leaps and bounds. Development is of utmost importance for Japan, and it is no less so for China. The utmost importance is for real, but it is equally important that both be sensible. Although the two countries are at different stages of development, they are on the same track of “sustainable development.” They may go toward each other, but should avoid head-on collision. If the developed is always trying to curb the development of the developing for hopes of keeping prosperity to its own, it would be only asking for trouble. If the developing is always angry and against the developed, it will also be inviting trouble. We must abandon the Cold War mentality, and view each other from an objective and balanced perspective. The developed shall have the generosity to embrace “inclusive growth” and the developing should be committed to peaceful development, scientific development and sustainable development. There is only one Earth, and Asia is supposed to be one family. All humans should be in a community of common destiny. Due to the development efforts of the two sides, competition is inevitable. However, beneficial cooperation should be promoted and competition be properly controlled, for development through cooperation and attainment of advantages in competition. Competition does not consist in scrambling for benefits amid various turmoil or geopolitical conflicts, or fantasizing about the US “returning to Asia” and borrowing its influence to contain China, or sticking to the Cold War mentality or even resorting to a hot war and went for a desperate stroke. What we can do is to cherish harmony, for harmonious development and mutual benefit. We should be committed to broadening and deepening the “converging interests” in different areas and at different levels and to building “community of interests.”
Japan rose one hundred years ago through the “De-Asianization” approach proposed by Yukichi Fukuzawa, who said in “Theory of Delinking Japan from Asia” that “Today there is no point for our country to be hesitant about its policy. It should break away from its neighbors and get aligned with Western civilizations, instead of waiting for its neighbors to become liberal and joining hands with them to revitalize Asia. It doesn’t have to be especially empathetic towards China and Korea; instead it may imitate the ways Westerners approach them. Rubbing shoulders with bad people inevitably incurs bad influence, so we have every reason to shun the friendship of the unsavory in East Asia deep down. Such a theory of “Delinking Japan from Asia for alignment with Europe” may sound sensible to some degree because Japan wished to stay clear of the corruptive Qing government of China, but it also catalyzed the development of imperialist consciousness in Japan. If some people in Japan should take China as a “bad friend,” they would be taking too light the development trend of China and other Asian countries and the current trend around the globe. The 21st Century is the century for Asia and the Pacific: in 2010, the contribution of Asia to global economic growth exceeded 45%. With a huge population and market, Asia and the Pacific region has the ability to create and master a variety of advanced technologies, to become the most economically active area in the world. The insightful in Japan urge that “Japan transform its approach of delinking from Asia implemented 150 years ago and begin to set great store by Asia. It should adopt the mentality of “valuing neighbors as partners and cherishing harmony,” and return to Asia via reconstruction, revitalization and continued development. Aggregately accounting for 60 percent of the total economic output in Asia, China and Japan should better grasp the opportunities in Asia, for their own benefits, and for the benefit of Asia and the world.
With a population of 1.3 billion, China has to develop. Why did it choose the path of peaceful development, without posing a threat to other countries? This is not only because the Chinese nation has always been peace-loving, but also because the Chinese people can appreciate the value of peace and the urgency of development after their painful experience of suffering from war and poverty in modern times. It is especially worth mentioning that, from the practical point of view, modernization of China means that of one fifth of the world’s population. With its large population, its move inevitably incurs widespread influence. The number of 1.3 billion is not only a “denominator” that can reduce all sorts of achievements, but also a “molecular” that can amplify many problems. We must concentrate on modernization, and on solving issues related to development and people’s livelihood. Even after China grows strong in the future, it has no reason to deviate from the path of peaceful development because peace shall always be a fundamental prerequisite for development. The adherence of China to peaceful development has its determinants and endogenous dynamics, i.e., it is dependent on the basic national conditions and cultural traditions of China, on its fundamental national interests and long-term interests, on the trends and objective laws of development. It is a firm strategic choice, not intended to convince, please or bamboozle others. Nor is it because China is afraid of anyone.
It is in response to the world situation and observation of the objective laws for China to take the road of peaceful development. Cold War has ended for two decades. The Cold War history reveals in depth the laws of social and economic development. Socialism can be established in developed countries, but would find no foothold in underdeveloped countries. Socialism is judged not only on the merits of ideology, but also on level of development inproductivity. The economic development of major countries in modern times around the world has mostly involved high demand of coal, oil and other non-renewable resources. During their rise, those countries often resorted to plundering with guns and ships, occupying lands of others and enslaving other people, to meet the demand. “Gaining strength via bullying” would naturally lead to “strong bullies.” Such an approach to development has proven impossible and must be avoided. China is a carving out a new path of peaceful development, different from that followed by any other big country. It has adhered to placing the basic point of development mainly on its own strength and its domestic demand and, at the same time, adhered to multi-level and wide-range opening-up, so as to make full use of international and domestic markets and resources. It has adhered to align its development with that of the world, conformed to the trend of globalization, and strived together with other countries for mutual benefit, common development, and sustainable development. The socialism upheld by China is no longer that of the Cold-War Era in which the Western world was considered a sworn enemy, but one that follows the trend of economic development, integrates into the world market system, and one that in the process of economic globalization and trend of world multi-polarization, commits itself to broaden and deepen the convergence of interests in different areas at different levels, to build a community of interests, so as to obtain the external environment for its own peaceful development and for promotion of world peace with its development. Of course, it is no longer the socialism locked in a cold war with anyone.
On its first V-Day military parade, China has shown that it has the ability to defend peace and to take the road of peaceful development, and that it will resolutely safeguard the achievements of the Chinese people’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the Global War against Fascism, and faithfully implement the sacred mission of safeguarding world peace. 70 years ago, the Chinese people’s armed forces defeated the arrogant Japanese militarism; today it shall be better positioned to make a significant contribution to peace in China and around the world. In the commemoration assembly on September 3, President Xi Jinping solemnly announced that China will cut the number of its troops by by 300,000. Since the 1980s, China has voluntarily launched 3 disarmaments, cutting its number of its troops by 1,000,000, 500,000 and 200,000 respectively. Currently, China has a total number of 2.3 million troops. After this disarmament, the number will be reduced to 2 million. Reduction of troops indicates that China will always hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, unswervingly take the road of peaceful development and pursue a defensive national defense policy, and staunchly safeguard world peace and regional stability. China will always adhere to the road of peaceful development. At no development stage will China seek hegemony or expansion, nor will it impose on any other nation the tragedies it had been subjected to.
Secondly, the ordinary people should step up with cultural communication and non-governmental exchanges, so that the political elites may attain peace of mind, heighten their long-term perspective, capacity for rational deliberation and mutual political trust, and reduce impulse and situational misjudgment.
China and Japan “had had a friendly relationship for two thousand years before confrontation for five decades.”
Of course, we should learn a lesson from “the confrontation for five decades.” As Mr. Fukuda said, “Only when we have the courage and wisdom to reflect what should be reflected by facing the past head on can we hope to avoid mistakes in the future.” Refusal to forget history is not to perpetuate hatred, but to better learn the lessons of history for a better future.
“Two thousand years of friendship” created the unique advantages of Sino-Japanese relations. The friendly exchanges are rare in the history of world civilization for their long term, large scale and deep impact. The relation between China and Japan differs from that between China and Western countries mainly in that there are many similarities in cultural origin, which has not only affects their values, but also directly promoted mutual exchanges. As two countries separated by one narrow strip of water, China and Japan have the tradition of mutual exchanges, mutual tutelage and mutual admiration. For example, the history of Buddhism exchange between the two countries is restricted by politics but transcends politics; it happened in a certain time and space yet transcends time and space. It is a history nurtured by common faith and an essence handed down from generation to generation. It is a history resultant from condensation of a great spirit, a history cast by successive efforts of generations upon generations of great people, and a history written by the unremitting efforts of some friendly organizations. Jian Zhen, Abe Nakamaro, Zhao Puchu... those are immortal names inspiring awe in everyone.
Whenever Sino-Japan relation encounters difficulties, cultural and civilian forces will stand up, and come up with a solution via subtle and sustained efforts. They are convinced that there is always a wisp of spring wind to paint both sides of the ocean green, and there is always the same body of seawater flowing back and forth. They are convinced that: the aspirations of the people will always come back as a spring breeze, and bring with it revitalization; the strength of the people will be like the surging sea – the longer it builds its force the faster it bursts forth.
Third, it is relatively easy for the political elites and ordinary people to shift their mentality, because they are fundamentally rational and sensible. The tricky part involves extremists. Stubborn and unreasonable, they tend to stir up trouble, exaggerate misunderstandings, deepen estrangement, incite hatred, ignite anger, and wreak havoc. Therefore, the urgent task is to be vigilant against the insemination and harms of extremist thoughts.
In the contemporary world, extremism is prone to occur. Although peace and development are the mainstream, confrontation and conflicts between countries, ethnic groups and religions still emerge now and then. Over the past century, with the forceful expansion of Western Culture, egocentrism and Western supremacist thoughts surged. All sorts of thoughts and movements arose to confront it. Terrorism and Hegemony (or “unilateralism”) each holds one end of the confrontation and opposition. They have a common essence, i.e., both are self-centered, and both are scrambling for supremacy, with an eye on replacing the other.
The current situation is also prone to extremism. Against the background of weakened global economic recovery and crises incessantly emerging one after another, particularly increasingly heightened unemployment in the industrialized countries, national mentality inevitably becomes fragile, and narrow nationalism is likely to be initiated and controlled by extremism to become an irrational short-sighted mass upsurge. In their rush to get votes, politicians can easily be manipulated and even kidnapped by extremism to make irrational decisions and take irrational actions, so much so that misfires are prone to occur, crisis expanded, and situations pushed out of control, causing unexpected disasters.
Extremism is an outlook that is highly paranoiac, narrow, selfish, exclusive, arrogant and provocative, ultimately materialized in behavior as terrorism. Today, it is found to be in resurrection, growth and expansion in many countries around the world, and Japan needs to be on the alert. Japan in particular should be highly watchful against the provocation and incitement of right-wing extremists. If they are allowed to held sway, the situation would occur as described in the Japanese proverb “it is not the dog biting the tail, but the tail teasing the dog!”
Justice will prevail! Peace will prevail! The people will prevail! On the occasion of commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Agression and the World Anti-Fascist War, let’s bear in mind the great truths revealed by history.
The three iron laws shall always be there, so it is advisable to think twice before making a move.
(Ye Xiaowen, First Vice-President of the Central Institute of Socialism, and Chinese committee member of the Fifth China-Japan Friendship Committee for the 21st Century)
*This article has been published on Guangming Daily, Section 1, on Sept. 7th, 2015.