China yesterday marked the 84th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians and disarmed soldiers were killed by Japanese troops in and around the former Chinese capital.
A People’s Liberation Army honor guard bearing large funeral wreaths marched slowly past a memorial showing the figure 300,000, China’s official death toll in the events of December 1937, as solemn music played. Troops, students and 3,000 attendees then stood at rigid attention to observe a minute of silence.
Addressing the gathering, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan (孫春蘭) said they had came together to “learn from history and open up a new chapter of our future.”
The ceremony aimed to “showcase our lofty commitment to a peaceful development path,” said Sun, the only woman on the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo.
In 2014, China’s top legislature designated Dec. 13 a national day of remembrance for massacre victims. Survivors, just 61 of whom are still living, were among those observing the date.
The Xinhua news agency Web site appeared in black and white to mark the occasion, while popular online shopping and social media sites such as Taobao and WeChat displayed black backgrounds.
In 1937 and throughout World War II, the Communists were based at Yanan in northern China, far from the front lines, while most of the fighting and dying was done by Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) Nationalist forces backed by the US.
A 1946 international postwar tribunal concluded that at least 200,000 civilians were killed by Japanese troops in a weekslong frenzy of murder, rape, looting and arson after Nanjing — China’s capital at the time — fell on Dec. 13, 1937, following bitter street fighting in Shanghai.
HOUSES FLOODED: The ground shook in Tonga as explosions were heard, followed by gushing water and pelting rocks, sending people running to higher ground A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered tsunami waves around the Pacific caused “significant damage” to the island nation’s capital and smothered it in dust, but the full extent was not apparent with communications still cut off yesterday. The eruption on Saturday was so powerful that it was recorded around the world, triggering a tsunami that flooded Pacific coastlines from Japan to the US. Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, suffered “significant” damage, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding that there had been no reports of injury or death, but a full assessment was not possible with communication lines down. “The tsunami has
Two years ago, Qi Jiayao visited his mother’s hometown of Shaoxing in eastern China. When he tried to speak to his cousin’s children in the local dialect, Qi was surprised. “None of them was able to,” said the 38-year-old linguist, who teaches Mandarin in Mexico. The decline in local dialects among the younger generation has become more apparent in recent years as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has sought to bolster a uniform Chinese identity. Mandarin is now spoken by more than 80 percent of China’s population, up from 70 percent a decade ago. Last month, China’s State Council promised to
DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS: Beijing is attempting to address its population decline, including considering raising the retirement age and allowing more than two children China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths last year despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis. Across China, 10.62 million babies were born last year, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per 1,000 people. The growth rate is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of May last year’s once-per-decade census, which found
‘PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE’: Authorities asked anyone who bought a hamster after Dec. 22 to hand it over after hamsters at a shop tested positive for the Delta variant Hong Kong’s government yesterday faced outrage over its decision to cull hundreds of small animals after hamsters in a store tested positive for COVID-19. Like China, Hong Kong maintains a staunch “zero COVID” policy, stamping out the merest trace of the virus with contact tracing, mass testing, strict quarantines and prolonged social distancing rules. Its latest measures target hamsters and other small mammals — including chinchillas, rabbits and guinea pigs, which authorities on Tuesday said would be culled as a “precautionary measure.” The drastic move came after hamsters sold at the Little Boss pet shop tested positive for the Delta variant of