By Sina English
September 18th, 1931 is a day that will never be forgotten by the Chinese people, as it was the beginning of the darkest period in China’s modern history.
On this day the Japanese army, which had been occupying part of Manchuria (northeastern China) since the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), allegedly bombed a bridge at a Japanese owned and operated railroad crossing. The Japanese then blamed the attack on “Chinese rebels.” This action, which is now referred to as "the September 18th Incident " or "the Manchurian Incident", was used as a pretext for the Japanese army to begin its invasion of China.
After the railroad crossing was destroyed, the Japanese launched a full-scale, surprise attack on Shenyang, easily conquering the city. Within a week, the Japanese conquered most of Manchuria, pillaging its cities, and taking the food, and resources for use in Japan. For the next 14 years the Chinese people lived in constant fear and suffered unfathomable atrocities at the hands of the Japanese army.
Many Chinese harbor deep resentment of Japan's wartime past and what they see as its failure to own up to atrocities. Beijing estimates up to 35 million Chinese were killed or wounded by Japanese troops from 1931-1945.
81 years has elapsed, the day is still burning the hearts of the Chinese people and remembered by the Chinese of later generations as the day of national humiliation.
Even so, the peace-loving Chinese people have all along inclined to looking at history with a historical view, and always ready to take the olive branch reached out by others.
But, the incumbent Japanese government and those radical right-wing politicians, in a desperate attempt to restore Japan's past militarism, brazenly challenges the international order defined by the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation after the WWII.
The resurgent specter of the Japanese militarism is now posing a grave threat to the region and to the world security. The ghost of Japanese war criminals is again enshrouding the East China Sea, and awakening the Chinese to look back at the day, when the then weak and poor China was mercilessly trampled upon by the Japanese imperialism.
Today’s China is no more “a sick man” shivering in the chill wind, but a muscular and robust giant and strong in mind to brave the forthcoming storms.
By Yuan Yue, Sina English
Japan's provocations in the Diaoyu Islands dispute have met forceful response from the Chinese government and its people. Confronted with the challenges, Chinese government has gained mastery, displaying the country's resolve to defend its territorial sovereignty, and its determination to adhere to its principles. It has implemented a series of countermeasures based on history, law and its national strength.
We have yet seen the Chinese authority resorting to economic sanction; the trade between China and Japan, however, has already been adversely affected, with Japanese tourism the first to bear the brunt, and its product sales in China on the heel. The spontaneous economic boycott from Chinese public and private sectors has already frayed Japan. Japanese entrepreneurs appear to stay calm, but in fact, they are extremely worried that the dispute may give rise to wider and deeper economic problems in their country.
Japanese economy is anything but immune to the possible economic sanctions from China. In fact, Japan has lost two decades economy-wise since 1990s: the global financial crisis has put Japan's export-oriented economy at its low ebb; the earthquake, tsunami and, in the wake, nuclear leak last year only added to its woes. Japan is able to survive these, only thanks to its trade expansion in China. But on the other side, this has increased its reliance on the Chinese market.
The Chinese are aware that economic sanction can hurt both. Against the backdrop of globalization, and especially between China and Japan, the economic and trade relations between the two are vital. This is why China is actually reluctant to slap economic sanctions to solve the ongoing dispute.
China has always been cautious about economic sanctions; it must have weighed carefully before actually resorting to that. But if Japan continues the farce, China will definitely take up the battle. The illegal "purchase" is no different from invasion. China, as a matter of fact, will adopt all possible means to defend its sovereignty. This is in accordance with international laws, and with international morality.
If China were to pull the economic trigger, it will not shoot blindly-- it will hit the bull's eyes, by cracking down those companies that will work on Japan the most. Among the potential targets are Japan's manufacturing industry, financial industry, its products, investment companies that are specifically directed to China. Once the battle is started, there would be loss for both sides. However, China can, and is willing to, deal a heavy blow to the Japanese economy even though it will have also to bear some bearable damages.
Cooperation benefits both while confrontation can only spell hurt for either side. This is a simple, yet crucial fact. If the Japanese government and some radical politicians continue to challenge China's sovereignty, they would pull the trigger beyond their disposal--- which will ultimately lead to self-destruction.
The question is, whether Japan is prepared for another one-- or even two-- "lost decades"?