Replay
The Sound Kitchen
The walking library
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/21 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/21 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/21 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/21 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/21 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/21 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/21 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/21 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/21 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/21 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/20 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/19 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/20 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/19 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 01/20 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/20 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 01/19 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/20 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 01/20 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 01/20 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Urgent

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack on Kabul's Interncontinental Hotel, in which at least six people have been killed.

Afp

Sirens, doves as China marks 80 years since Nanjing massacre

By AFP
media China in 2014 formally made the anniversary of the Nanjing massacre a National Day of Remembrance AFP

Sirens blared and thousands of doves were released as Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a sombre ceremony in Nanjing marking 80 years since the wartime massacre in the city by Japanese troops.

Several thousand black-clad soldiers, civil servants and students with white flowers pinned to their jackets braved chilly temperatures at a monument to a dark World War Two chapter that still divides the two countries.

But while vowing never to forget the "great catastrophe" wrought by "Japanese militarism" in a speech to the mourners, a top Chinese official also stressed the need for the two rivals to move forward.

"China and Japan are close neighbours, neighbours who can't move away," said Yu Zhengsheng, a former member of China's top Communist leadership who now chairs a parliamentary body.

China and Japan should build on their "long, rich history" of links to deepen "friendship", Yu said, avoiding reference to bitter disputes over the massacre.

According to China, 300,000 civilians and soldiers were killed in a frenzy of murder, torture, rape, arson and looting in the six weeks after invading Japanese troops seized Nanjing, then the capital city, on December 13, 1937.

It remains a source of bad blood due to disagreement over the extent of the slaughter and periodic denials by Japanese arch-conservatives that it even took place.

Officially, Japan concedes that "the killing of a large number of noncombatants, looting and other acts occurred" but says it is "difficult" to determine precise figures.

The issue receded during the Cold War but has re-emerged in recent decades, with China now striking an increasingly muscular stance under Xi, while critics say Japanese revisionists have grown bolder under conservative leader Shinzo Abe.

China in 2014 formally made the anniversary a National Day of Remembrance, effectively raising its profile.

In an anniversary speech that year in Nanjing, Xi said the slaughter of 300,000 victims could not be denied.

But Xi did not speak Wednesday or lay any wreaths in the nationally televised ceremony that saw much of the city shut down by security measures.

Liang Yunxiang, an international relations expert at Peking University, said Beijing has kept wartime memories alive as leverage against Japan in modern-day disputes such as maritime territorial squabbles.

"There are current conflicts between the two countries, so historical issues are re-emerging. All history is contemporary," Liang said.

But fewer than 100 people designated as massacre "survivors" remain alive, and both sides have repeatedly expressed desire to look ahead and avoid rocking their huge trade relationship.

"Xi cannot avoid anti-Japanese movements, as nationalism is a source of his political power. But deep down he must be hoping to improve ties with Japan," said Mitsuyuki Kagami, professor of China studies at Aichi University.

Soldiers carried eight large wreaths representing the decades into the memorial site as sorrowful music played.

A "peace bell" was then rung. Sirens blared across the city for one minute and car horns could be heard as well.

- 'Deep remorse' -

The two countries have struggled to put Japan's wartime aggression behind them and Abe, the grandson of a wartime minister, has been accused of trying to gloss over history.

In 2015, he expressed "deep remorse" for Japan's actions in Asia, but also said future Japanese generations need not continually apologise, drawing criticism in China and South Korea, another wartime victim.

Japanese politicians have also repeatedly angered Asian neighbours by visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine commemorating Japan's military dead, including convicted war criminals.

China's Nanjing toll is disputed even by some western academics who put it as low as tens of thousands, but no respected historians dispute that a massacre occurred.

China suffered immense loss of life at Japan's hands, reserving special anger over a sense that Tokyo, unlike Germany, has never fully atoned for the war.

Relations plunged in 2005 as China was swept by rare anti-Japan protests denouncing its war conduct.

But analysts say China's stability-obsessed leaders are deeply fearful of letting such passions burst out again as it could pose a potential political quandary for the ruling Communist Party.

burs-dma/kaf

 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.