BEIJING: “We must learn the lessons of history and dedicate ourselves to peace,” Chinese President Xi Jinping once said.
For such reflection, the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, which falls on Thursday, presents a particularly suitable opportunity.
The world now is once again enveloped in extraordinary uncertainty. An invisible enemy of mankind, the COVID-19 pandemic, has claimed more than 860,000 lives worldwide. And when global solidarity is desperately needed, the multilateral regime for peace and prosperity borne in the wake of the Second World War (WWII) has been under sustained assaults from its main architect — the United States.
Apparently half-hearted about containing the coronavirus disease but eager to contain China, some U.S. politicians are sparing no effort to scapegoat Beijing and talk up a “new Cold War,” fueling fears for a divided and turbulent world ahead.
Unity or split? Peace or war? Humanity has arrived at yet another critical crossroads.
Xi has repeatedly proclaimed that China, which has peace deeply ingrained in its millennia-old national tradition, wants peace and stands ready to join forces with other members of the international community to safeguard peace.
In the sun-lit Acropolis Museum in Athens, Xi stopped before the “Mourning Athena,” a basso-relievo dated circa 460 B.C.. It was early November last year when he was on a state visit to Greece.
“Athena is resting and contemplating after fighting a war,” then Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos told Xi. “Zhi Ge Wei Wu,” Xi said to Pavlopoulos, quoting a Chinese idiom, which means boldness lies in the suspension of hostility. “She is reflecting on what exactly war means.”
Although the world has not suffered any major war for over seven decades, peace and war has been a recurring theme in Xi’s remarks. War, he said, is the Sword of Damocles that still hangs over humankind.
However, not everyone sees peace as precarious as such. Even at a time when the world is reeling from a still raging pandemic and increasing destabilizing factors, some in the United States are intentionally stoking a “new Cold War” with China, risking the precious peace for short-term political gains.
With one U.S. provocation after another, frictions between the United States and China have spread from trade and technology to almost every aspect of bilateral relations.
Others have been watching closely as one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships spiraling downwards. They feared that a “new Cold War” would not only fracture the international community, but also increase the risk of a hot war even if neither side desires it.