WWII Celebration Plans by Putin and Xi to Score Points

Russian and Chinese presidents aim to divide US and allies, including Japan, with WWII celebration.

china-russia_2919509bWhen Chinese President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, he stated that “Japan must look at history squarely and more towards the future.” Xi’s carefully selected words were taken from a text agreed upon in advance by the two countries’ foreign ministries. Behind the words lurk an agreement Xi has made with Russian President Vladimir Putin to jointly use the 70th anniversary in 2015 to “safeguard the outcome of the victory of World War II and post-WWII order.” The joint celebration plan aims to warn Japan against historical revision and could create difficulties for the US-Japan alliance.

Putin and Xi had already made known at their Shanghai meeting in May that Russia and China would organize joint events in a 2015 commemoration of the victory over “German fascism and Japanese militarism” with a view to “counteracting the efforts at falsifying the history and undermining the post-war world.” Implicitly this was meant as an attack on Abe’s December 2013 visit to the highly controversial Yasukuni Shrine. Putin spoke in Shanghai about the “great heroism of our peoples in World War II, “which brings Russia and China even closer.”

Read more at Yale Global, where the full text was published 13 November 2014.

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