An unforgettable commemoration for a better tomorrow

September 30 is the fifth anniversary of China’s Martyrs’ Day. The Chinese government held a grand ceremony in front of the Monument to the People’s Heroes at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, commemorating all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the independence and prosperity of the Chinese nation.

A commemoration in Xuchang, Henan Province, September 30, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

A commemoration in Xuchang, Henan Province, September 30, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

Nowadays, many countries have their own statutory martyrs’ anniversary. For example, January 30 is India’s Martyrs’ Day, November 11 is Canada’s Remembrance Day, May 9 is the Russian Anti-Fascist War Victory Day, and the last Monday of May is the US Memorial Day. On these specific days, all of the countries remember their heroes by holding a grand public ceremony or organizing other activities. It should be the common values of mankind to not forget the past and pay tribute to our heroes.

Today’s China is a major rising country. The world pays close attention to China, mostly because China has developed rapidly and become the world’s second largest economy in the past 40 years through reform and opening up. At such a moment, people must not forget the tragic and heroic history that China has experienced in modern times.

In 1840, Western powers opened the door to China through the opium trade and guns, and the Chinese nation fell into a century of humiliation that would also be marked by the Second Opium War in 1856, the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, the invasion of China by the troops of the Eight-Nation alliance in 1900, and the Japanese invasion of China in 1931. According to statistics, since the first Opium War, China has been forced to sign up to a thousand unequal treaties. The country lost its independence, its sovereignty could not be exercised, its territory was no longer complete, and the Chinese nation was in a time of peril.

During periods when the survival of the Chinese nation was at risk, there emerged numerous patriots in China who sacrificed personal interests, laid down their lives, and fought for national dignity and sovereignty. Tens of millions of heroes eventually defeated foreign invaders, ending the long history of a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society in China that lasted for more than 100 years, and ushered in the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

A commemoration in front of the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, September 30, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

A commemoration in front of the Monument to the People’s Heroes at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, September 30, 2018. [Photo: VCG]

Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that a hopeful nation cannot be without heroes, and a promising country cannot be without the vanguard.

In China, everyone has a heroic dream. This is because in a country with 5,000 years of continuous civilization, the Chinese have been inheriting their own cultural genes. They are inspired by the spirit that for the rise and fall of a nation, every common person has to share responsibility, as well as be the first to bear hardships and the last to enjoy comforts. One must cherish the aspiration of cultivating oneself, regulating one’s family, governing one’s state and bringing peace to the world.

Since the founding of the People‚Äôs Republic of China 69 years ago, the Chinese people have always been committed to maintaining peace and independence, and to rejuvenating the Chinese nation. In the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China has developed into the world’s second largest economy and lifted nearly 800 million people out of poverty. China’s contribution to world economic growth has stood at 30 percent. According to the national development strategy set by the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, on the basis of comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society in 2020, China should realize the modernization of national economic and social development by 2035, and become a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful socialist country by 2050.

It is worth noting that in China’s strategic arrangements, the main considerations are concentrated on domestic construction. China is the only permanent member of the UN Security Council that has not yet achieved complete sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is still a poverty-stricken population of more than 30 million in the country. China neither has time nor takes an interest in interfering in the affairs of other countries. It is China’s top priority to safeguard its security and independence and protect the happiness and well-being of its people.

Understanding history will allow one to better understand the present. This country with a history of humiliation for a hundred years has sufficient sensitivity, which is why China has always emphasized in its foreign exchanges that countries should be equal regardless of their size, and respect each other.

Every country has its own heroes and vanguard. For the 1.39 billion Chinese people, today’s peace and development are the result of sacrifices of countless martyrs. In order to let the heroes rest in peace without regrets, we shall work hard and create a more beautiful tomorrow. This is also the best way to commemorate them.