China media: War history

A boy visits China's Anti-Japanese War museum in west Beijing Image copyright AFP
Image caption A boy visits China's Anti-Japanese War museum in west Beijing

Media report on President Xi Jinping's speech at a ceremony on Monday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the start of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45, known in China as the Chinese People's War Against Japanese Aggression.

The Beijing Times backs Mr Xi's criticism of Tokyo's wartime actions and says that "history offers the best lesson".

The paper urges Chinese people to "continuously strive towards progress". "As we develop China's system of values, we still need the national spirit that arose as a result of the national character displayed during the anti-aggression war," it says.

Noting that media in Japan are concerned about commemorative events to mark the war anniversary, the Chinese edition of the Global Times points out that they are not meant to be "anti-Japanese".

"There is no need for China to hate Japan," the daily argues. It adds that claims of anti-Japanese sentiment among the Chinese reflect an "overestimation of Japan's strength and an outdated perspective of Asia and the world".

"On the issue of historical disputes, the Chinese people know that [Japanese PM] Shinzo Abe's administration does not represent the whole of Japan," the Global Times writes.

The paper stresses that Beijing will not adopt an anti-Tokyo stance and that China is willing to "befriend all neighbouring countries, including Japan".

China Daily adopts a more belligerent stance. It writes that by "distorting the truth", "Abe and his cohorts have provided Japan's Asian neighbours with more than enough reason to be concerned about where Japan is heading".

The paper urges Japan to "honestly acknowledge the aggressive nature of the war and the atrocities its troops have committed, and truly atone for them" in order to receive "forgiveness from its neighbours and maintain friendly relations with them".

'Multilateral diplomacy '

The press also analyse China's relations with Latin America as Mr Xi prepares for a trip to the region next week.

According to reports, he will attend and co-chair the BRICS meeting in Brazil on 15 July and will then go on to visit Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba.

The Beijing News notes that this is Mr Xi's second visit to the region since taking office, and that he will "launch multilateral diplomacy" there.

"China has a very good relationship with the four countries. Mr Xi's trip will not only improve Beijing's ties with them, but will also lead to better links with the whole of Latin America," Xu Shicheng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Science, tells the daily.

He adds that China is placing more emphasis on its relations with Latin America in recent years because Chinese investment in the region has "rapidly expanded".

"In the past, investment was mostly in the energy sector, in minerals and crude oil. In recent years, the area of investments has expanded to include infrastructure and agriculture," the pundit explains.

And finally, media cheer as Beijing makes it to the list of potential hosts for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee announced on Monday that three cities, Oslo, Beijing and Almaty, were the finalists bidding to host the Games.

The Beijing Youth Daily says that Beijing will stage "magnificent games" if it is selected to be the host.

Li Yingchuan, director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports, tells the paper that Beijing has four advantages.

"Firstly, the Chinese government has given strong support to the event… Secondly, Beijing already has the sites from the 2008 Summer Olympics… Thirdly, Beijing has vast experience in hosting sports events… and lastly, by hosting the games, the youth will be encouraged to engage in sports and improve their health," the sports official explains.

Yang Shu'an, Beijing Olympic Committee vice-chairman, dismisses concerns about air pollution.

"The process of bidding and hosting the Games will be helpful in promoting action to clean up pollution. No matter who wins the bidding result, I believe that Beijing's air quality will improve by 2022," he tells the Beijing Youth Daily.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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