China and Russia make a show of unity on Nanjing anniversary

China and Russia make a show of unity on Nanjing anniversary

Nikkei’s China bureau chief offers snapshots of politics amid the pandemic

China is locked in a heated diplomatic confrontation with the U.S. — one that may not end with the arrival of a new White House occupant. At home, President Xi Jinping continues to strengthen his grip on power. All the while, the world is struggling to stop the coronavirus pandemic that started on Chinese soil. Nikkei’s bureau chief in China, Tetsushi Takahashi, is following these world-shaping stories from the heart of Beijing.

Monday, Dec. 14

Sunday marked the 83rd anniversary of the Nanjing Incident, also known as the Nanjing Massacre, in which troops from the Imperial Japanese Army are accused of killing a staggering number of Chinese people.

Possibly out of consideration for relations with Japan, Chinese President Xi Jinping and six other members of the Politburo Standing Committee did not attend the memorial ceremony in the city of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, for the third consecutive year.

Still, back in 2014, the government designated Dec. 13 a national day of mourning for the victims, and memorials are held across the country every year. A related event was held this weekend at the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, near the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing.

I had heard that a photo exhibition at the museum would be organized to coincide with the Nanjing anniversary. I was told it was a collaboration between the war museum and the Russian Embassy in Beijing, and that it would feature photos taken by female journalists of the former Soviet Union.