President Xi Jinping Tuesday called on people of the mainland and Taiwan to unite to safeguard peace, as he met with a Taiwanese political delegation to attend events for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Lien Chan, former chairman of Taiwan ruling party the Kuomintang (KMT), and other Taiwanese officials are in Beijing for a military parade and other activities commemorating the WWII anniversary and that of victory in the overlapping Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said during the meeting that victory in the counter-Japan war was “China’s first complete victory against foreign invasion in modern times” and that it was only possible through the efforts of the entire nation, including those of Taiwan.
When Japan invaded northeast China on Sept. 18, 1931 and launched its full-scale invasion on July 7, 1937, “the unprecedented national calamity roused unprecedented national awareness. At the critical moment, the Chinese rose to fight bitterly with the Japanese militarist invaders,” Xi said.
The CPC and the KMT jointly established a counter-Japan united front to safeguard state sovereignty and national dignity, he said. “Both the front line and the battlefield behind enemy lines closely coordinated with each other and made important contributions to the victory.”
The president told his guests that the compatriots in Taiwan share a common destiny with their motherland, and their struggle against Japanese invasion was “an important part of the entire Chinese struggle.”
During the half century of Japan’s occupation of Taiwan, the islanders never stopped struggling, and hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese lost their lives before victory in the war which ended Japan’s colonial rule, he said.
Through drastic historical changes, people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait realized that they are closely linked with each other, Xi said.
A strong and prosperous nation is a foundation to safeguard the subsistence, development and dignity of the Chinese people including Taiwan residents, he said, calling for learning from history, promoting the spirit of perseverance, cherishing peace and focusing on development.
Since 2008, the CPC and the KMT as well as people on both sides of the Strait have heralded a path of peaceful development based on the 1992 Consensus and opposition against Taiwan independence, according to Xi.
“The path helps both sides to unite and achieve mutual benefit, ” he said, adding that “as long as people of both sides firmly adhere to the path, psychological wounds caused by history will be healed.”
Lien welcomed joint commemoration of the war anniversary as a chance to recall the tragedy caused by foreign invasion, and to promote world peace, stressing adherence to cross-Strait political mutual trust.
In addition to Lien and officials, veteran Taiwanese soldiers who fought in the war and their families will also attend the anniversary events.
Forces led by the CPC and KMT fought together in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. However, in the following civil war, the KMT was defeated and fled to Taiwan.