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Reception commemorates 1937-45 war

by Website Editor, 2 September 2015

Around a dozen members of the SCA attended a Consulate Reception on 1 September 2015 kindly hosted by Mr Pan Xinchun, Consul General of the People's Republic of China, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of “the Victory of the Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the Anti-Fascist War'. Mr Pan was accompanied by Deputy Consul General Zhang Limin, Consul Lyu Yanxia, Consular Attache Zhu Ge and other colleagues.

The Association's representatives included Janice Dickson, Chairman ; Eddie McGuire, Vice President ; Peter Lindow, Edinburgh Branch Chairman ; Barry Moore, Glasgow Branch Chairman, as well as Kate Blackadder, Charles Chan, Ken Currie, Jim Dixon, Susie Moore, Tom Nisbet, Youling Sun, Graham Thompson and Jean Ye.

Other organisations represented at the Reception included the Cross Party Group on China at the Scottish Parliament, several local authorities, the Scotland-China Education Network, the CBBC, the Eric Liddell Centre, and many more.

Those attending the reception ; Consul-General Pan making his speech

Consul General Pan made a robust speech, reflecting the Chinese government's view that “it is regrettable that Japanese government today still refuses to face squarely its history of aggression and shoulder their responsibility”. He highlighted the dreadful losses suffered by the Chinese people, and that the Japanese “committed speechless atrocities by killing millions of Chinese people, making China a living hell”. He also noted that in Japan, “some forces try to distort the history of the war by repudiating the truth of the aggression in order to whitewash militarism”. He urged Japan “to recognize correctly and introspect deeply its crimes committed in the War 70 years ago, neither because we want to prolong hatred nor to extend calamity”. Rather, “Japan should learn from history, treasure the fruit of friendship, and take concrete measures to embark on peaceful development so as to maintain peace and prosperity in Asia and the whole world”.

Mr Pan also pointed out that “the victory was China’s first complete victory in resistance against foreign invasion in modern times”. He added, “the Chinese people won the respect from peace-loving people around the world and opened up bright prospects for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.

The Consul-General also highlighted the wartime co-operation between Chinese forces and British forces, as well as the humanitarian aid provided by individuals and organisations from Britain. As he said, “the UK came to China's help with economic aid and military cooperation, and in the Far East, British soldiers fought side by side with their Chinese comrade-in-arms, sustaining tremendous losses”, adding, “the Chinese people will never forget Britain's friendship”. Mr Pan gave special recognition to Eric Liddell, calling him “a legendary Scot, particularly well known and remembered in China...may he rest in peace in his beloved land”.

Ending his speech, Consul-General Pan noted that this October, Chinese President Xi Jinping will come to the UK for a State Visit. As he said, “this visit will become a milestone and start a "Golden Time" in China-UK relationship, pushing our relationship to a new high, adding, “we wish from the bottom of our heart the friendship between Chinese and British peoples rooted in the World Anti-Fascist War will stay forever and never be forgotten”, and that “we wish the world will be far away from war and people around the world live in peace together”.

The title page and a sample page from the booklet

At the end of the event, on behalf of the SCA, Janice Dickson presented the Consul-General with a rare copy of a souvenir booklet entitled 'The Capital of Scotland', produced in 1943 for foreign personnel visiting Edinburgh, which contains lovely drawings of city scenes with text in English, Polish, Russian and French, and, most notably, Chinese.

The Consulate's own report of the event is on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website here, and on the Consulate's own website here. For more on China's commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of 1937-45 war, see our article here.