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Putin, Xi to exchange state visits to mark WWII 70th anniversary
January 24, 2015, 10:14 am

Vladimir Feskov, Colonel in the Red Army (1908-2003) with his daughter Albina [Image: The BRICS Post]

Vladimir Feskov, Colonel in the Red Army (1908-2003) with his daughter Albina [Image: The BRICS Post]

Russian and Chinese Presidents will exchange state visits to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, China’s Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday.

Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said both countries made great sacrifices and contributions to the victory of the world’s anti-Fascist War. She also said China will work with Russia to maintain high-level bilateral relations.

“As two of the main battlefields in Asia and Europe during World War Two, China and Russia will hold a series of celebrations, and state leaders will attend commemorations held in each other’s country,” she said.

China’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, led to the death of some 20 million Chinese, according to Beijing’s estimates. It ended with Tokyo’s World War II defeat in 1945.

On May 9, Russia commemorates the sacrifice of the millions who fought and died to bring down the Third Reich and end Hitler’s expansionist whims.

Although most Western historians believe that 22 million Soviets died in the Great Patriotic War, Russian sources put the number higher – at 27 million people.

Russia’s Red Army lost 8.5 million troops – a figure comparable only with German losses. Another 18 million were civilians who died as a result of Hitler’s genocide.

“The Red Army was the only army in the world that didn’t disperse under a German offensive. Poland was defeated in two weeks, France – in four. That is why Victory Day Celebrations are so massive in Russia – nobody else suffered such huge losses as we did. Denmark fought for an hour-and-a-half and lost 36 people. And it was only the Red Army that sustained the Nazi attacks,” says Alexander Sagomonyan, Professor of Historical Sciences with the faculty of Global Studies at Moscow State University.

Meanwhile, the exchange of visits by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi during this year’s anniversary will be a crucial chance to strengthen relations between the two allies.

“China attaches great importance to the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Russia, and appreciates Russia’s positive attitude on expanding and deepening bilateral cooperation. China will make joint efforts with Russia to promote common development and prosperity and safeguard peace, security, and stability in the region and the world,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua reiterated in Beijing on Saturday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a war commemoration event last month that “forgetting history means betrayal and denying the crime means committing it once again.”

Obama ally and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he intends to express remorse over World War II in a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict.

Abe’s policies, including increasing the defense budget, lifting a ban on arms exports, visiting a shrine that memorialises Japan’s war dead, along with convicted World War II criminals and reinterpreting the pacifist constitution to allow Japan to defend other countries, have sparked concern in China.



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