WWII parade politicized by West: analysts

By Yuen Yeuk-laam and Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-10 0:33:02

Attendance ‘reflects different attitudes’ toward China’s rise

The South Korean government on Sunday denied that the US had asked its President Park Geun-hyu not to attend China's parade to commemorate the end of World War II next month in Beijing.

Analysts believe that some Western countries have politicized the commemorative event, which is intended to promote and safeguard world peace.

With the parade approaching, Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported on Saturday that the US administration has urged Park not to attend the ceremony, fearing it would "send a false message to the world that China has cracked the US-South Korea alliance," citing US government and diplomatic sources.

The South Korean government on Sunday denied the claim, saying that the report is not true and "a situation like that would never happen," according to the Yonhap News Agency.

The South Korean foreign ministry added that the government has not yet determined whether Park will attend the ceremony.

The US has not confirmed who will attend the parade. Analysts said one of the reasons is the US is weighing its alliance with Japan.

"The US, as one of the victorious nations of WWII, should be supportive toward commemorative events, but it may have misinterpreted China's military parade as intended to suppress its close ally, Japan. The US attaches more importance to Japan because the country is crucial for the US to implement its diplomatic policy in Asia," Jin Canrong, associate Dean at the School of the International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

"A country's national interest decides its attitude toward history," he added.

China's military parade, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), is scheduled to take place on September 3 in Beijing.

The Chinese government said the ceremony is to ensure China's stance in safeguarding world peace and the postwar order.

At least 50 world leaders are on the invitation list.

Earlier in July, some Japanese media reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit China in September and may attend the military parade, but Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi confirmed Wednesday that he has yet to hear from the Japanese side. 

"The US has been weighing its options. Whether the US will dispatch an envoy to attend the parade and the rank of this envoy will reflect to what degree the US sees the event as a political gesture from China to deter Japan," Jia Qingguo, associate Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, told the Global Times.

Jia said how other nations see the parade is based on their attitudes toward China's rise as well as their current relations with the country, citing Russia and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which had voiced support for the commemoration.

He added that some neighboring countries are concerned that the parade might put pressure on issues such as the South China Sea disputes.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will attend the ceremony, Egypt's top diplomat in China said. Both sides will also discuss trade cooperation during the meeting.

The president of the Czech Republic is the first EU leader to confirm attendance at the commemoration. Russia and Mongolia have also reportedly confirmed that their presidents will participate in the ceremony.

Shi Yinhong, director of the Center for American Studies at the Renmin University, told the Global Times that the attendance of the South Korean president would be key for China as South Korea had also suffered under the Japanese during WWII.

"By commemorating the victory, we just want to strengthen national cohesion and tell others we are the steadfast power to maintain world peace," he said.


Posted in: Diplomacy

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