On September 4, Ottawa Life Magazine published a signed article by Ambassador Cong Peiwu titled “Cherish Peace and Open up the Future”. Here is the full text:
Cherish Peace and Open up the Future
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. In such a special year, people from various countries commemorate the victory in their own way, to bear history in mind and honor all those who laid down their lives.
The wheel of history is rolling forward, but the flames of the war 75 years ago are still vivid in our mind. That war of aggression launched by fascism and militarism has caused unprecedented turmoil and havoc in China, Canada and many other countries. As the main battlefield in Asia, China has made the biggest sacrifice. The Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression started the earliest and lasted the longest and was fought under the most arduous conditions. In defiance of aggression, the unyielding Chinese people fought gallantly and finally won total victory against the Japanese militarist aggressors, thus preserving China’s 5,000-year-old civilization and upholding the cause of peace of mankind. This remarkable feat made by the Chinese nation was rare in the history of war. This is an extraordinary contribution to the final victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the safeguarding of world peace.
Although far from the battlefield, Canada, with a population of only 11.5 million at that time, resolutely sent 1.1 million soldiers to the front, and made great sacrifices. Throughout the World Anti-Fascist War, more than 40,000 Canadian soldiers gave their lives and about 55,000 got injured. The Chinese people also pay deep tribute to Canadian doctor Norman Bethune. Dr. Bethune came all the way to China to fight alongside the Chinese people against the invasion of the Japanese militarists. He worked valiantly on the front line and saved the lives of countless Chinese soldiers with his superb medical skills. In 1939, Dr. Bethune died of infection while operating on wounded soldiers in a field hospital in north China’s Hebei province. Widely known in China, Dr. Bethune’s name has become a symbol of China-Canada friendship. On September 3rd, Chinese President Xi Jinping, while attending a commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, once again expressed remembrance and tributes to Dr. Bethune, on behalf of the Chinese people.
In the year of the 75th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, we also witness the outbreak of the COVID-19, which is sweeping the world and posing a new severe challenge for mankind. It is a war in another form. The spread of the pandemic once again proves that the interests of all countries are closely linked and the destiny of mankind is closely tied. Under such circumstances, promoting the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind is a correct choice in tune with the trend of the times. No country could cope with this pandemic alone, and the international community needs solidarity and cooperation more than ever. However, it is regrettable to see that certain countries, instead of focusing on preventing and controlling the pandemic and protecting the lives and the health of their people, have focused on shifting the blame, shirking their responsibilities, spreading the “political virus”, and undermining the international order, which caused troubles in the international community.
Past experience guides for the future. Today, we are commemorating the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, not to perpetuate hatred, but to call on kind-hearted people to yearn for and work towards peace, draw the lessons from history, advance towards the future, and make joint efforts to cherish and safeguard peace. The experience of victory of the World Anti-Fascist War shows that only with the unity of the international community can humankind cope with various challenges and overcome various difficulties. I hope that all countries will join hands to fight against the pandemic, resist the “political virus”, maintain world peace and development, uphold multilateralism and jointly open up a better future for the human society.