Honor the History for a Better Future
An Article Co-authored by Chinese and Russian Ambassadors to the U.S.
2 September 2020
On September 3, Russia commemorates the end of World War II, and the Chinese people celebrate the great victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. Since that day in 1945, the sun of peace once again shone on the earth. On the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Allies in World War II, we are remembering the historic contribution of the earlier generations of our two countries. In the meanwhile, we want to congratulate our ally at the time, the representatives of the American “Greatest Generation”, and thank them for their self-sacrifice.
World War II was an unprecedented calamity in human history. The Soviet Union, China, the United States and other peace-loving countries supported each other and fought side by side in the War. In the end, justice prevailed over evil, light over darkness and the progressive over the reactionary. As the main theaters in Europe and Asia, the Soviet Union and China suffered more than 27 million deaths and 35 million casualties respectively, making indelible contributions to the victory of the War and the future of mankind.
The friendship developed between the Russian and Chinese people in World War II represents an inexhaustible driving force for Russia-China relations and would last throughout the times. It has become a tradition for the two countries to jointly commemorate the War, with leaders attending the celebrations held by the other country many times. President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping agreed on May 8 that as major winning countries in World War II and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Russia and China have the special mission of safeguarding world peace and security and promoting human progress, and they will firmly preserve the victory of the War and uphold international fairness and justice. The leaders also called on the international community to carry forward the spirit fostered in the war against fascism and join hands to win the war against COVID-19.
At the historic moment of the 75th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, this joint article is a continuation of the fine tradition of Russia and China to jointly commemorate the victory and an implementation of the important consensus between Russian and Chinese leaders. History is a mirror to the future. Honoring history, we aim to create a better future.
History should not be distorted and lessons from history must be learned. The law of the jungle leaves the weak at the mercy of the strong; it is not the way for countries to conduct their relations. Those who adopt the high-handed approach of using force will find that they are only lifting a rock to drop on their own feet. We should give up the thinking of zero-sum game, strive for win-win cooperation and realize the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. This is the only right choice if we are to turn into reality the ideal “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”, as enshrined in the UN Charter.
As a historical achievement of the World Anti-Fascist War, the international order and system with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as the core must be maintained. Seventy-five years ago, our fathers laid the cornerstone of the modern international order, with the wisdom of all parties, by establishing the United Nations and formulating the UN Charter. Seventy-five years on, we still have the obligation to maintain and develop this order and system that has made great contributions to world peace, security and stability. The basic norms of international relations, such as the inviolability of sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and non-interference into their internal affairs, should be respected. And multilateralism should be put into practice.
The spirit of the World Anti-Fascist War characterized by concerted efforts, unity and mutual assistance should be carried forward. In the face of global threats and challenges such as climate change, terrorism, economic recession and pandemics, the winning nations of World War II, especially the permanent members of the UN Security Council, based on their shared memory of fighting side by side, should ponder on their special responsibilities, strengthen mutual trust and cooperation, and follow the principles of mutual respect, equality, peaceful development and common prosperity. This is urgently relevant in the context of the raging COVID-19.
Russia and China have made the right choices. We will stay committed to our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, push forward cooperation as good neighbors and friends, promote global stability and security, and contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of all countries. We believe that the best way to commemorate the war is to avoid a repeat of the tragedy and join hands to open up a better future.