Park has all reasons to attend WWII parade

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-12 0:48:01

The question of whether South Korean President Park Geun-hye will attend Beijing's military parade on September 3 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory in China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression as well as the World Anti-Fascist War has gained increasing attention worldwide.

Seoul said that the decision will probably be made late next week. At the very beginning, it is undoubtedly logical for Park to come. However, Japanese media reports claiming that the US is pressuring her to skip the event have given rise to complicated speculation. Although Washington and Seoul have both denied the accuracy of the reports, the potential presence of Park at Beijing's commemoration has been haunted by extended meanings.

A South Korean official said Tuesday that there is no reason for Park not to go. In addition, a top South Korean mainstream newspaper, JoongAng Daily, also published an editorial, calling for the president to attend China's ceremony.

Park is indeed facing pressure over whether to join Beijing's parade, which comes from not only the attitude of the White House, but also the prediction about the potential absence of leaders from major Western countries. But these are not mandatory factors. She has plenty of good reasons to make the trip, and this is exactly why people who are against it find it hard to publicly oppose it, but can only spread rumors deviously.

China and South Korea are friendly neighbors. China is also South Korea's biggest trading partner. Cooperation between the two has reached new heights in recent years. It is hence a reasonable choice for Park to accept Beijing's invitation.

Looking back on the war, China and South Korea went through thick and thin together. China was not only a battlefield that experienced South Korea's resistance against the enemy, but was also a shelter for the Korean provisional government. Moreover, Beijing is also an important mediator on Korean Peninsula issues. The North Korean leader may make an appearance at Beijing's event, if so, Park's attendance would promote a high-level contact between the two countries.

Certain foreign analysts argue that it is a zero-sum game between South Korea-US ties and Seoul-Beijing relations. It is disturbance or even interference in the Blue House's independent diplomacy. If Park yields to this pressure, she will set a precedent of restraining the nation's independence. Once such a situation has been created, South Korea will suffer in the future.

It is understandable that Seoul would take its ally into consideration when making the decision. But the South Korea-US alliance should not be that fragile. China's military parade is a commemorative ceremony in nature, the meaning of which should not be distorted or extended. Washington would be too petty if it reads too much into the WWII parade and asks Seoul to do its bidding. 

Whether Park will make the trip is South Korea's own decision. Since Japan has already hyped up the issue, it is natural for Chinese people to pay close attention to it. The Chinese public will have different feelings according to what decision Park makes this time. 

Posted in: Editorial

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