September 3rd, 2015 -
By: Andrey Bortsov for PolitRussia -
translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski -
"Parade in the PRC - a signal to the friends and enemies of China”
On September 3 (for China, it ended on that date), a parade in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Victory in World War II will be held in the People’s Republic of China. It’s been very interesting to see the coverage of this event in the media. A typical example is what "Kommersant” has to say:
"This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a visit to Beijing, the culmination of which will be participation in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Against the backgrounds of the likely absence of Western leaders in Beijing, Vladimir Putin has been named the main guest of the most ambitious military parade on Tiananmen square in PRC history. Authorities didn’t hide that they borrowed the Russian experience of the 70th anniversary of Victory ‘for mobilizing patriotic sentiment.’ Celebrations in the PRC and the visit of President Putin will take place against the backdrop of a strong reduction in bilateral trade, the loss of Russia as one of China’s top ten business partners, and increasing problems with the major energy projects ‘Strength of Siberia’ and ‘Altai.’”
Note the shift of emphasis from the event itself to the impact of the global economic crisis which affected not only Russia and China. On this note, let’s also remember that from 2000-2013, the volume of bilateral trade between Russia and China grew more than tenfold, from $8 billion to $89.2 billion, amounting to $95.28 billion in 2014. And most importantly, we are now discussing the possibility of settlements in national currencies in various fields and decoupling from the dollar. But we will not deal with temporary economic difficulties, but rather look further into the future at strategic political relations.
Vladimir Putin’s visit to China has state status, and this military parade will be held on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of victory in WWII and the victory of the Chinese people over the Japanese aggressors.
Few people pay attention to this, but military parades in China were only ever held on the anniversaries of the founding of the PRC and every ten years. But September 3 - this is not an ordinary event, but the first parade of China in history not to be held on the occasion of the founding of the PRC.
The newspaper "People’s Daily” named the following reasons for such a decision:
"...for China, which is one of the major players on the global arena, it’s time to demonstrate our military power. The parade will be a warning to Japan that China will not tolerate attempts to change the post-war international order or Tokyo’s attempts to change history.”
In addition, the newspaper says, the parade will be a signal to those "corrupt elements” that the country’s army is in the hands of the CCP and the Chinese people.
Let’s see how this event looks from the perspective of the current political situation. Assistant to the President of Russia on International Affairs, Yuri Ushakov, expressed that the main thing is the following: "On May 9 in Moscow and on September 3 in Beijing, Russia and China celebrate together. Thus, we demonstrate that we have a common assessment of the outcome of the Second World War and that we equally oppose all attempts to distort history.”
Seeing as how celebrations in China are essentially a continuation of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of victory in Moscow, which was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and in which the Chinese military took part, so will Russian soldiers of the Preobrazhensky honor guard regiment march on Tiananmen Square.
Sergey Shoigu reported that Russia "gladly accepted the invitation of the Minister of Defense of the People’s Republic of China to participate in celebration in Beijing on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Victory in WWII on September 3 this year, and has agreed to send armed forces of the Russian Federation to the military parade...The peoples of our countries suffered the heaviest losses. Solidarity between Russia and China is of fundamental importance in view of attempts to falsify history and to glorify fascism.”
He also stated that the Russian Defense Ministry granted joint exercises with China and supports the continuation of practical cooperation in this area: "In an unstable international situation, the strengthening of good neighborly relations between our countries is of particular importance. This contributes to ensuring peace and stability on the Eurasian continent and beyond.”
In addition to practical cooperation, the change in political sentiment in the PRC is important. There has been a rethinking of the role of China in the World War II: the previous paradigm is changing and the war is now perceived as a struggle of the Chinese people against the Japanese invaders. China already repeatedly stated that, thus, as one of the victor countries, China is entitled to an appropriate place in the contemporary world order.
Of course, the Soviet Union helped defeat the Kuomintang Army, and the actions of the US against Japan played a role, but it is important to place China on par with the victorious countries. And if anyone says that the Chinese can’t do it themselves, then they we’ll be reminded of the historical event when the capitulation of Germany was signed: when Keitel, seeing men in French uniforms among those who attended the ceremony, chuckled: "How!? Both France and us lost the war.” At least China did not give up, but fought. It is therefore logical to associate it with the countries which defeated Nazism. However, according to only official data, more than 35 million Chinese were killed in the war between 1937 and 1945.
It is understandable why China specifically mentions the falsification of history: the West has persistently rewritten history for 70 years. Characteristically in this plan is the speech of the US Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, regarding the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on May 9. He said that the US does not seek to harm Russia, but rather to rely on "comprehensive partnership.” In the US, they propagandize the role of US troops in the liberation of Europe from Hitler, which is called the "theory of the exceptional efforts of the US in the joint victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany.” The Soviet people, according to such a logic, did something, but nothing exclusively. All that remains is to "forget” about the "joint” victory and attribute everything to the US.
Similarly, like with the Victory Parade in Russia in May, detractors point out with the parade in China: China was weak, never managed to single-handedly defeat the Japanese army in the past, etc.
It is significant that 85% of military equipment will be demonstrated for the first time at the parade, like in Russia, where we also showed our new advances in curbing encroachments which wish to deprive Russia of its sovereignty.
China has sent 51 invitations, 49 countries said yes, and in the end, 30 heads of states will arrive for the parade, along with the representatives of 19 other countries. Troops and delegations from 17 countries will participate in the parade. It is telling that the delegates from the US are not coming to Beijing.
Thus, the world is still divided between those who want to maintain the hegemony of the US and the structure of "democratic colonial capitalism,” and those who believe that international relations should be built on mutually beneficial terms with the preservation of national identity.
The Russian Ambassador in Beijing, Andrey Denisov, indicated that in addition to the meeting of the two leaders in Beijing, talks will be held with the participation of Deputy Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, and other senior officials on a wide range of issues. He said: "We look at the world differently. Each country has its own interest, but the harmony of approaches is great.”
In the early 1950’s, China proclaimed the slogan "learning from the Soviet Union, but after the death of Stalin, a quiet destruction of socialism from within began: the pursuit of development was replaced by petty-bourgeois philistinism (even Mayakovsky warned about this!), elements of capitalism (profit as a goal - see the Kosygin-Lieberman reform) were introduced into socialist economies, and there was in fact sabotage from the "top.” Less than a month after Stalin’s death, the Council of Ministers decree no. 895-385 from 3/25/1953, the construction of the 25 most important strategic assets was stopped.
Now is the time for Russia and China to learn from each other. The foundation of the current policies of the PRC lies in the theory of Deng Xiaoping of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, or as the Chinese themselves say: national in form, socialist in content (remember that socialism is not only Marxist). Of course, one cannot copy everything one-to-one: Russia needs its own socialism, with Russian specificity. And, of course, together we need to resist globalism.
Returning to the topic of the parade: do you know what is most pleasing about the upcoming event? That a Victory Parade, at least in China, will be held the way it should be - with red stars and under the red flag.