China’s northeast—home to the Manchu people—held on Sunday a commemoration of the 80th anniversary of what is known as the Manchurian Incident, a 1931 staged event that was organized by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading Manchuria.
The governments of the northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang, which were occupied by Japanese troops during the Second World War, jointly organized a ceremony that featured bells and sirens in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning. The official event drew a total of 1,000 participants, including military and public officials, according to Radio Free Asia.
Similar events were also held throughout 100 Chinese cities, but none saw any federal-level communist leaders.
Despite the Chinese communist regime’s usual love for promoting patriotism, federal authorities tried to interfere with the commemorations, while police arrested a local activist, Chen Fule, who rose to popularity for protesting against a government-endorsed memorial to World War II Japanese immigrants in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.
Chen, who was arrested just as he was leaving his home for the commemoration, said that he has been relocated to the eastern coastal province of Shandong by the police.
“All residents from other regions leaving for Shenyang have met much resistance,” Chen told Radio Free Asia. “Very few of them reached their destination, causing a decrease to the number of participants at the commemoration, and I had no chance of getting there at all.”
Wu Yisan, a member of the Independent Chinese Pen Center in Hong Kong, said that there was only one purpose for the regime to prohibit civilians from participating in memorial activities.
“The Chinese regime is afraid that after gathering together for the memorial activities, the civilians would take the chance to rally against the Chinese regime, although Sept. 18 was a national humiliation day against the Japanese invasion.”