Editor's note: Gao Lei, a special commentator for CGTN, is an associate professor at the Center for Xi Jinping Thoughts on Opening-up, Research Institute of Globalization and China's Modernization, University of International Business and Economics. Xia Lu, a special commentator for CGTN, is an associate professor at the National Academy for Development and Strategy, the Academy of Xi Jinping Thoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Renmin University of China. The article reflects the authors' opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
On the night of September 18, 1931, the Kwantung Army of the militarist Japanese empire, entrenched in northeast China, in accordance with an elaborate conspiracy, had its railway "garrison" blow up the Japanese-built South Manchurian railway, one of modern China's important transportation lines connecting major urban centers in the northeast region including Harbin and Dalian, placing blame on the Chinese army, and creating the so-called "September 18 Incident." At that point, the Chinese people began their 14-year arduous war against Japanese aggression.
This Monday was the 92nd anniversary of the September 18 Incident, as sharp air defense sirens sounded again in the skies over China, and the hearts of 1.4 billion Chinese once again were stirred up in waves of sorrow. To forget history is tantamount to betrayal.
We commemorate this historical event in various ways, not for the sake of perpetuating historical hatred, not for the hope of relying on violence to "wash away shame," but for peace, in order to remember the painful lessons that Chinese people paid for with their lives and blood.
History illustrates the need for the nation to be strong and modernized in all respects to protect Chinese people, instead of relying upon others. Without the protection of the motherland, our basic rights would be violated. Besides, every Chinese must cherish their hard-won independence and prosperity.
There is an old Chinese saying that "Forgetting war, one will be in danger, but if prone to war, one will fall." As a responsible country committed to maintaining peace and promoting global prosperity, China will never seek hegemony, which is a solemn commitment to the whole world.
However, in addition to revising certain events in textbooks, denying the history of aggression, and exaggerating the "China threat," the current Japanese authority has frequently provoked the issue over the Diaoyu Islands, bringing unstable factors to China's peripheral areas.
In the face of the Japanese right-wing trend, we must refute with facts, and make the rest of the world understand other distorted facts. At the same time, China shall put its focus on a booming national economy, enhancing comprehensive strength, building a strong nation in science, education, culture, and public health, and inspire the Chinese people to strive hard and forge ahead so that tragedies will not happen again.
In today's world, major changes unseen in the past century are accelerating. On the one hand, the historical trend of peace, development, and cooperation is unstoppable. A new round of technological revolution has developed in depth, causing international forces to undergo profound changes.
On the other hand, various global threats continue to emerge, and the deficit of peace, security, and governance fail to improve. Global economic growth has slowed down; geopolitical conflicts have intensified significantly, and world development is full of uncertainties.
Here comes the contribution of China. Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed that "China is always a builder of world peace, contributor to global development, defender of the international order and provider of public goods." On the new historical journey towards the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a "modern socialist country," Chinese people must conform to the historical trend of peace and development, and uphold the intrinsic essence of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative.
The three initiatives have their main tasks laid out respectively. The Global Development Initiative advocates the priority of development, strengthening coordination among major economies, and building a more equal and balanced global partnership for development, which fully meets the common expectations of the people in the world.
The Global Security Initiative adheres to the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security to resolve differences and disputes, which is in line with the common aspirations of all countries in the world to strengthen global security circumstances.
The Global Civilization Initiative advocates full respect for the diversity of world civilizations and adheres to the equality of civilizations in response to the sincere aspiration of the international community.
For Chinese people, the best way to remember history is to cherish and contribute to peace. In this sense, we appeal to our readers that the September 18 Incident deserves broader attention.