The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. An international seminar was held in Beijing on Saturday to commemorate the two wars that have shaped the world for decades.
CCTV-America’s Ai Yang reports.
Academics gather in Beijing to commemorate WWI, WWIIThe year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. An international seminar was held in Beijing on Saturday to commemorate the two wars that have shaped the world for decades. CCTV-America's Ai Yang reports.
More than 200 historians and academics from 18 countries have gathered in the city of Beijing to commemorate the First and Second World War. They believe the lessons learned from those two bloody wars should never be forgotten, and even though a century has gone by, world leaders can still find wisdom from the past to better govern their countries today.
The two World Wars of the 20th century involved almost every continent on Earth. Many of the states who fought World War I also fought in World War II, although not always on the same sides. The wars caused unprecedented casualties and destruction. At least 70 million people were killed during that time.
However, in recent years Japan has been trying to whitewash its wartime atrocities and deny its past crimes, which has upset both Chinese and Japanese citizens.
“The days of China being weak and ruled by foreign powers have long gone,” said former Japanese reporter Nakayama Toshio. “As a veteran reporter, I feel Shinzo Abe is driving Japan into another crisis after nearly a century of peace. It’s harmful for Japan to imitate its American ally so closely. It should find a middle ground in the Asia-Pacific region, not one that’s just pro China or just pro U.S.”
Speakers from the developing world believe leaders today should avoid hostile attitudes when mediating regional conflicts, and focus on mutual development. While the world still suffers from cold war sentiment to some degree, participants say there are also solutions.
The outcome of the two World wars has had a profound effect on the course of human history. Today’s modern security and economic systems were set up in its aftermath, in the hope of preventing further major global conflicts. Participants today have called for more respect and attention to the lessons learned from the past, so that no country will repeat those mistakes.