China syndrome

THE conspicuous absence of top-level western representatives (with the exception of Czech president, Milos Zeman) from the grand display in Beijing marking 70 years since the end of China’s war with Japan surely shows a level of a pettiness that has no place in international political peace-making.

It is apparently OK to outsource production of consumer goods etc to the world’s most populated country and for China to be welcome as a partner in international free-trade, but somehow wrong for China to commemorate and celebrate its victims and victories of this terrible conflict of relatively recent vintage.

The estimate of Chinese dead in the Second World War is 20 million.

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It is tempting to say that were a similar commemorative occasion to occur in Tokyo there would have been no such western absence.

China was an ally during the Second World War. Isn’t there a confusion here of seeing the past from an inappropriate, present perspective?

Similar “huffiness” has been shown in sessions of the United Nations when some western delegations walk out as those in disfavour with their foreign policies address the assembled members.

Surely in a world badly needing peace, as the present refugee crisis exemplifies, it is time to be more gracious and accommodating towards those we don’t necessarily agree with politically?

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive

Peterhead, Aberdeenshire