Business Tech

Shared memory, shared lesson

Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov and Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui on attempts to rewrite the history of world war II and the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership

In the year of the 75th anniversary of the victory in world war II, Russia and China once again emphasize that they will not allow attempts to rewrite the history of those events and will remain on guard of global peace, the value of which was demonstrated by the horrors of the last war. This was announced by senior diplomats of Russia and China on the eve of the Victory Day in world war II – September 3.

Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov: Washington’s Irresponsible actions force Russia and China to protect peace and stability. Photo: Embassy of the Russian Federation in China

Andrey Denisov, Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Of Russia to China

The year 2020 is particularly important for Russia and China. The peoples of our countries celebrate significant events – the 75th anniversary of the victory in the great Patriotic war and the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese people’s anti-Japanese war – as they say in China, “the war of resistance against Japan for the salvation of the homeland”.

Back in 1945, the second world war, the largest and bloodiest war in the history of mankind, was victoriously ended by the unparalleled efforts of the armies and peoples of the allied countries.

Our countries were allies in the war and suffered the greatest losses in it. The combat brotherhood of that time is a glorious page in the history of bilateral relations. The role of the Soviet Union and China in achieving victory is visible, and the history of the largest military disaster in the history of mankind should be studied respectfully and carefully, without distortion and politicization.

Our countries Express their firm determination to resist any attempts to distort the history of the Second world war, to revise the post-war structure of the world, and to whitewash German Nazism and Japanese militarism. Such attempts are not only unacceptable, but also criminal.

Three-quarters of a century has passed since that war. The world has changed dramatically, and we have been able to avoid a repeat of world wars over the years. Nevertheless, humanity is facing extremely serious new challenges and threats. Local and regional armed conflicts are multiplying. The rivalry between the great powers sometimes becomes very intense.

The Russian-Chinese strategic partnership is based on a common understanding of the fundamental issues of the world order, consonant principled approaches to current international problems, a broad community of interests and deep mutual trust. Moscow and Beijing interact in a highly volatile and complex international environment. Our countries ‘ diplomacy must respond to new challenges without delay and show an innovative approach in non-standard situations. An example of such a “black Swan” was the COVID-19 pandemic, which dramatically and unpredictably complicated international relations and exchanges.

Moscow and Beijing support the Central role of the UN and its Security Council in world Affairs, and interact within a wide range of different international formats – the SCO, BRICS, and the Group of twenty. Three – and multilateral partnerships with India, Iran, Mongolia, and the ASEAN countries occupy an important place. Russia and China coordinate positions on all hot topics on the international agenda and contribute to reducing tensions around the Korean Peninsula, in Afghanistan, and in the middle East.

Russia and China are determined to resist attempts to distort the history of the Second world war, considering them unacceptable and criminal

In the Eurasian space, the priority area of interaction is the integration of the construction of the EEU and the Chinese initiative “one belt, one road”. There are great prospects for cooperation in the vast Eurasian space, as well as in the Arctic, including the development of the potential of the Northern sea route.

The anti-Russian and anti-Chinese policy of the United States creates additional instability in international relations and risks the development of not only our countries, but also States, associations and regions with which we are closely connected economically. Washington’s irresponsible actions to break the existing system of maintaining strategic balance and ensuring global security force Russia and China to take the necessary measures to protect peace and stability in the region and on a global scale.

During the Second world war, the Soviet Union, despite the anti-Communist views of Chiang Kai-shek, provided the Kuomintang government with significant assistance in the fight against foreign invaders and at the same time strongly supported the Chinese Communist Party and its leadership. Between 1937 and 1941, 3,665 Soviet military specialists were sent to China, including about 2,500 pilots and technicians. 14 of them were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. More than 200 of our military did not return home. In those years, the USSR was the only state that provided real assistance to China by supplying military equipment.

After the victory over Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, true to its allied obligations, sent troops to the East and in August 1945, in coordination with the Chinese allies, delivered a crushing blow to the Japanese Kwantung army stationed in the North-East of China. Almost 12 thousand of our soldiers and officers gave their lives for the liberation of China. The Manchurian strategic offensive was one of the largest military operations of the entire Second world war. This was greatly facilitated by the support of Chinese and Mongolian fighters, partisans, and the local population of North-Eastern China.

The sons and daughters of China, together with the Soviet people, fought the enemy on the Western front. Just think of Chairman Mao Zedong’s son, red Army officer Mao Anying. Even children-Chinese pupils of the Ivanovo international orphanage, who were then in our country, helped the common struggle as much as they could.

The memory of our fallen soldiers in China is preserved by numerous military memorial sites on Chinese soil dedicated to their feat. Detailed descriptions of 83 such sites have been prepared, including 60 military graves and 23 monuments. Much attention is paid to their maintenance and repair. We are sincerely grateful to our Chinese friends who honor the memory of Soviet soldiers. Years have passed, but we continue to find military graves of that wartime period. According to generalized data, more than 35 thousand Russian and Soviet soldiers were buried on the territory of China in different historical periods. There is a possibility that this number may increase as archive surveys and search operations are carried out.

In December 2018, a portal in Russian and Chinese dedicated to military memorial work in China was launched on the official website of the Russian Embassy in Beijing. This is the only bilingual source of information on this topic in the global information space. On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the victory, our Embassy posted publications on the history of the great Patriotic war and the liberation of the North-East of China on the platform of the most popular social networks in China. We note the growing interest of the Chinese audience in this topic. This confirms the Chinese wisdom – ” do not forget about the Affairs of the past, they are the teacher of the future.”