Chinese President Xi Jinping today asked his country's bitter rival Japan to admit and reflect on its history of imperialist aggression, as China marked the 69th anniversary of Japan's defeat at the end of World War II.
Addressing a symposium held for the occasion, Xi said the war brought calamity to the people of China and other Asian countries.
China is ready to promote the long-term, steady and healthy development of Sino-Japanese relations on the basis of the four political documents, Xi said, but stressed that Japan's correct treatment of and deep reflection on past events is the political basis of bilateral ties, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
"With the utmost resolution and effort, we will join with people all over the world to safeguard the victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the world war against fascism," said Xi who also heads the ruling CPC.
China will allow neither denial nor distortion of this history, nor any return to militarism, he said.
"Facts are facts. Truth is truth. Any irresponsible words and actions that distort facts are in vain. The black is black, you cannot turn it into white by denying it 10,000 times. The white is white, you can never turn it black by denying it 10,000 times," he said.
Japan must show a sense of responsibility for history, the region's peoples and the future, and help maintain Sino-Japanese friendship as well as the stability and development of Asia, Xi said.
Xi urged Japan to be prudent in dealing with historical issues, learn lessons and stick to the road of peaceful development.
The symposium was held by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Central Cabinet and the Central Military Commission at the Great Hall of the People.
Earlier in the day, Xi and other leaders attended a ceremony to mark victory day at the Museum of the War of the Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, China's first such celebration since September 3 was decreed an official observance day.
Relations between Japan and China are weighed down by history, especially the brutal Japanese invasion of China during World War II.
The two neighbours are also locked in a prolonged diplomatic feud over control of disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Japan can atone for its sins. How about China atoning for what it did to Tibet? Or what it did to its own people during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution?
Japan's atrocities pale into insignificance.