08:06 GMT20 October 2020
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    China’s military parade to commemorate the end of World War II presents to the world a major view of global history from the Asian perspective radically different from the West’s, or Anglo-American narrative, diplomats and scholars told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) – This narrative reflects the Russian and Chinese perspectives of World War II, which the West has long and systematically ignored, they said.

    "The September 3 celebrations will undoubtedly be an opportunity for Beijing to promote its views of history, Woodrow Wilson Center Senior Northeast Asia Analyst Shihoko Goto told Sputnik.

    That view is completely unknown in the West, historians point out.

    China’s role in pinning down millions of Japanese soldiers throughout the Pacific War has been completely overlooked in the United States, Matthew Dal Santo of the University of Copenhagen told Sputnik.

    "These commemorative events repeatedly remind us that the Anglosphere [the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand]’s World War II was not the same as everyone else's, above all [not the same as] Russia and China’s," he said.

    Dal Santo is a Danish Research Council post-doctoral fellow at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, where he is leading a project on history and identity in modern Russia. He previously worked for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    "The Anglosphere has built its claim to world leadership on a wartime narrative that is incomplete," Dal Santo explained.

    The enormous scale of struggle, suffering and loss experienced by China and Russia in their conflicts with Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany had been virtually ignored by most Western historians and the British and American publics, the historian warned.

    "Partly because their wars and traumas have found so little place in our own commemorative practices, we struggle to understand the world view Russia and China have founded on their experiences," he pointed out.

    Despite the historical blindness in American understanding of China’s losses in its 1937-1945 conflict with Japan, Dal Santo stressed the importance of Washington and London sending representatives to the military parade in Beijing to pay their respects.

    "Should the United States attend even if it means offending Japan? In my view, the question is, how could they justify staying away?" he argued.

    The scale of human suffering that the Chinese people endured for eight years needs to be recognized and honored by the rest of the world, the historian insisted.

    "The experience of the Chinese people in the war needs to be acknowledged."

    The festivities will feature one of the most large-scale parades in China’s history. Nearly 12,000 troops will take part, but the Beijing government will also take the opportunity to highlight its latest military hardware, most of which will be unveiled for the first time.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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