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CHINA marked the 84th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre today with an offer to “work with all of the peace-loving people in the world to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace.”
Vice-premier Sun Chunlan made the pledge at a ceremony at the memorial hall for victims of the 1937 massacre, one of the earliest and worst war crimes of the second world war in which 300,000 residents of the city — then China’s capital — were slaughtered by the invading Japanese.
Ms Sun called on the world to “learn from history and open up a new chapter of our future” as she addressed the thousands-strong crowd. Soldiers marched to lay wreaths in memory of the dead.
“The massacre that took place 84 years ago in Nanjing should never be forgotten or misrepresented. Militarism must not be allowed to revive,” China’s UN permanent representative Zhang Jun added.
China has objected strongly to Japanese plans to amend their “peace constitution,” which outlaws war as a means of resolving international disputes, and rearm.
These plans were championed by former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, a grandson of war criminal Nobusuke Kishi who ruled occupied Manchuria during the war.
Beijing has also reacted with increasing alarm to the deployment of US and allied warships to the China seas, allegedly to ensure freedom of navigation in the Far East.
The United Nations voted this month for an “Olympic truce” during this February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, calling for ceasefires worldwide and a global effort to park differences.
But the United States has since declared it will launch a diplomatic boycott of the Games, a stance rapidly copied by Canada, Britain and Australia.
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