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"Without Soviet help, China could just collapse"
Alexander LomanovChief Researcher of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Many people of the slightly older generation remember well the documentary epic "The Great Patriotic War" (1979), which was made by the outstanding Soviet director Roman Karmen in collaboration with Western partners. The film was shown in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. At that time I was a schoolboy, and all the time it was not clear to me why in English it was called The Unknown War. The point is that the history and vision of the war is completely Western-centric. And it is no coincidence that the film was called "The Unknown War" on the Western market: for the average Western man, both the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union and China's anti-Japanese war are equally unknown, incomprehensible and seem to be something completely marginal, despite the importance of the events that took place on these fronts, and losses incurred. If you look at the latest polls, the average European man in the street believes that the Americans won with a little support from the British and, perhaps, from the French somewhere. And, in general, the Soviet Union and China are remembered last. Therefore, it is not worth saying that today the Second World War is remembered in connection with anti-Western sentiments. Rather, this is due to the fact that China is already able to convey its word, its version of history to the world community.
Historical memory does not become the source of some kind of power. Likewise, one can say that any illusionist interpretations of the Second World War, which are arranged by those who want to justify fascism and their militaristic manifestations, that they also want to become strong in this way. Just the falsification does not become true from this and does not give anyone any strength.
The process of rapprochement between China and Russia was quite logical, gradual; it has been unfolding for more than twenty years, since the 1990s. It can be recalled that the previous President of China, Hu Jintao, took part in the Parade on Red Square in Moscow twice - on the 60th and 65th anniversary of the Victory. It is by no means impossible to say that something unprecedented is happening with the visit of President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, violating the logic of world relations and traditions, because there is no reason for this. We can only say that relations between Russia and China have become closer, mutual understanding and interaction between the two countries is becoming wider, including in the field of historical memory.
It turned out that Xi Jinping will be the main guest at the Victory celebration, this is the head of the country - a member of the Security Council of the United Nations, this is our partner for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Therefore, modern politics, the economic importance of China in the world, its growing power are reinforced in this case also by the historical status of a very important and long-time ally of the Soviet Union in the Second World War.