Chinese President Xi Jinping (4th L, front), and Yu Zhengsheng (4th R, front), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, attend a state memorial ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Dec. 13, 2017. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
China called for joint efforts with Japan to contribute to the peace of mankind as the country held a solemn State memorial ceremony on Wednesday attended by President Xi Jinping to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.[Special coverage]
Xi and senior officials joined people from different walks of life in paying silent tribute for one minute to the massacre victims. The ceremony was held at the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders.
On Dec 13, 1937, Japanese invaders occupied Nanjing, then capital of China, and killed more than 300,000 Chinese people in six weeks.
During the memorial ceremony, the national flag flew at half-staff, and students recited the Declaration of Peace, a poem that calls on the Chinese people to remember history and pursue peace.
After the memorial ceremony, Xi met with representatives of the families of survivors of the Nanjing Massacre and members of foreign families who contributed to the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).
Xi shook hands with them and asked about their health. The president told them that the history and memories should be told from generation to generation.
"We should clean the mirror of history, wipe off the dust, use history as a lesson, and move forward to the future," Xi said.
Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said in his address at the ceremony that the invasion waged by Japanese militarists not only was a huge disaster for Chinese people but also brought great injury to Japanese people.
China and Japan should focus on the fundamental interests of the people of both countries, cherish the peace obtained with great difficulty, and make contributions to the peace of mankind, he said.
The international community should make joint efforts to safeguard peace and face history in a candid manner, he said, adding that China would like to join hands with other countries to build a community of a shared future for mankind.
On Wednesday morning, memorial ceremonies were held at 17 mass graves, 12 communities and six patriotic education centers across Nanjing. In the afternoon, monks from China, Japan and South Korea attended the World Peace Rite to chant for the victims.
In February 2014, China's top legislature designated Dec 13 as the National Memorial Day for Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.
While attending the first State commemoration for the National Memorial Day in December 2014, Xi said that the purpose of the memorial ceremony is to recall that every good-hearted person yearns for and holds a firm stance of peace but does not try to prolong hatred.