Thursday, September 3, 2015

Video Report - European migrant crisis: for Hungary president Orban, "it's a German problem"

Terrorist Islamic State 'selling sex slaves to wealthy clients from Saudi Arabia and Turkey'


ISLAMIC State (ISIS) thugs are running sick sex slave markets where the best-looking girls are allegedly reserved for wealthy "clients" from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

A Yazidi teenager who escaped the clasp of the brutal terror group has disclosed how militants trade the Christian and Yazidi women like "livestock".
Jinan revealed how fighters of the depraved terror regime abducted her after storming Yazidi villages in northern Iraq last year - holding her captive in their stronghold of Mosul.
But the 18-year-old miraculously escaped using stolen keys after three months in confinement and has now written a book about her terrifying ordeal.yazi.
Jinan describes how once she arrived in Mosul she was taken to "a massive reception hall with huge columns" alongside dozens of other women.
She claims that during the "slave markets" she saw Westerners whose nationality she could not work out - along with Iraqis and Syrians.
According to Jinan, one owner named About Anas said: "A man cannot purchase more than three women, unless he is from Syria, Turkey or a Gulf nation."
The other, Abou Anas replied: "It's good for business... A Saudi buyer has transport and food costs that a member of the Islamic State does not. He has a higher quota to make his purchases profitable."
"It is a good deal. the Islamic State increases its profits to support the mujahideen and our foreign brothers are satisfied."

One man even reportedly complained about the slaves, saying: "That one has big breasts. But I want a Yazidi with blue eyes and pale skin. Those are the best apparently. I am willing to pay the price."
The horrified teenager also describes how the brutes tortured her, abused her, chained her to leave her hanging in the scorching heat and even forced her to drink water riddled with mice.
She said the blood-thirsty militants even tried to "forcefully" convert them to Islam and "threatened to torture us with electricity".
She said: "These men are not human. They only think of death. They take drugs constantly. They seek vengeance against everyone.
"They say that one day Islamic State will rule over the whole world."

Hey, Saudi Arabia: Here’s what you can do to help the Syrian refugees

By Bobby Ghosh
Hands are wringing all across Europe as the flood of refugees from war-ravaged Syria shows no sign of abating. In country after country, immigration policies—as well as infrastructure—have come under scrutiny, and been found wanting. In just the latest outrage, some European leaders have suggested they’d be willing to take Christian refugees, but not Muslims. The criticism directed at governments that are unable or unwilling to do more to help these desperate people is warranted, and should be kept up.
But the same scrutiny should be brought to bear on the policies of governments in the Arabian Peninsula, which have done much less than the nations of Europe to provide shelter to the Syrians. This has, at last, begun to happen. An Amnesty International statement points a damning finger at Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which have offered “zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.”
Shame on them all.
The Saudi, Qatari and Emirati governments know full well that theMuslim states that are taking in Syrians are already overwhelmed by the numbers. According to Amnesty International, Turkey alone has 1.6 million—and it, at least, is economically stable. The same can hardly be said for Lebanon (1.1 million refugees), Jordan (620,000), Iraq (225,000) or Egypt (140,000). And these are the refugees who have registered; it is hard to know how many others have crossed into these countries, but have not been counted.
The oil-rich Gulf Arab states might argue that they are giving all these countries financial aid, to help them cope with the refugee crisis. This is not enough. Money cannot paper over the tremendous social and political strains on the smaller countries: the refugee numbers are equal to a quarter of Lebanon’s population, for instance. Nor can cash make up for the huge drain on natural resources. Jordan’s water supply, which has always been meager, cannot cope with so many more parched mouths.
The Gulf states must do more. The most sensible course would be to route large numbers of the refugees in Jordan into Saudi Arabia, through their long common border. (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait also share borders with Iraq, but given the violence in that country, safe routes may be hard to come by.) The job of sheltering them can then be divided equitably between the oil-rich states. Refugees from Egypt and Lebanon can be shipped to ports along the Arabian Peninsula.
The region has the capacity to quickly build housing for the refugees. The giant construction companies that have built the gleaming towers of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh should be contracted to create shelters for the influx. Saudi Arabia has plenty of expertise at managing large numbers of arrivals: It receives an annual surge of millions of Hajj pilgrims to Mecca. There’s no reason all this knowhow can’t be put to humanitarian use.
Europe can do more for the Syrians. But Saudi Arabia and its wealthy satellites must—or must be made to—shoulder much more of the burden.

Middle East wars deprive 13m children of education - UN

The UN has said that conflicts in the Middle East are depriving more than 13 million children of an education.
The UN children's fund, Unicef, says in a new report that the hopes of a generation across the Middle East and North Africa are being shattered.
It says that in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, almost 9,000 schools are not able to be used for education.
Unicef also documented scores of attacks on schools and teachers across the region.
Peter Salama, regional director for Unicef in the Middle East and North Africa, said: "The destructive impact of conflict is being felt by children right across the region.
"It's not just the physical damage being done to schools, but the despair felt by a generation of schoolchildren who see their hopes and futures shattered."

Forced to work

The 13.7 million who are out of education represents about 40% of the school-age children in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan and the UN fears that figure could top 50% in the coming months.
Unicef says that, in 2014, there were 214 attacks on schools in Syria, Iraq, Libya, the Palestinian territories, Sudan and Yemen.
One in four schools in Syria have shut since March 2011, affecting more than two million children, it says.
Unicef's Education Under Fire report added that "the killing, abduction and arbitrary arrest of students, teachers and education personnel have become commonplace" in the region.
Thousands of teachers have abandoned their posts in fear and children are often forced to work illegally to help their families.
The children can also become combatants at a young age.
Mr Salama said Unicef needed an additional $300m this year to try to improve access to education in the region.

Report: $1B Wasted in Afghan Refugee Crisis


Inspector general findings portray bleak picture for millions of displaced Afghans in Pakistan, Iran.

Almost $1 billion in support from the U.S. government has done little to stem a refugee crisis in Afghanistan that has reportedly displaced millions of people from their homes and now accounts for tens of thousands of deaths abroad each year. In fact, corruption is so endemic among the local institutions tasked with solving the problem that even a precise number of refugees is unknown.
A new report released Thursday from the congressionally mandated office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction finds the local Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation has made little progress in implementing a strategy to bring home refugees and allocate land where they can live. As many as 2.5 million Afghans are living in Pakistan, according to U.N. estimates, 1.5 million of whom are declared refugees, and roughly 950,000 are living in Iran. The U.N. is unable, however, to confirm these numbers with those countries, according to the SIGAR report, hampering the State Department's ability to request corresponding funds from Congress.
In Pakistan, for example, roughly 23,000 Afghan refugees have died each year, though the Pakistani government registers only nine deaths total since 2008. Limited diplomatic relations with Iran make that country "a closed window" to verifying refugees' status, says Gene Aloise, the deputy inspector general for the SIGAR office.
"This is extremely frustrating," Aloise says, citing rampant corruption throughout Afghanistan's government, but particularly within the refugee ministry, which now disqualifies it from international aid. "It undermines the entire Afghan society and everything they try to do. It undermines everything we've tried to do with our reconstruction effort," he said, admitting the U.S. didn't handle that issue well early on.
The State Department has since 2002 invested $950 million in supporting the refugee process, but, along with the U.N., has ceased providing any more funds until the government can get ministry corruption under control. Aloise says there are no discernable positive outcomes of the ministry's work.
For example, the refugee ministry has reportedly misappropriated $117,000 it was supposed to use to provide land to refugees to instead give its staff bonuses and provide reimbursements to officials who filed forged documents. It also has not been held accountable for the Land Allocation Scheme -- a critical component of the international plan to help refugees return to Afghanistan by distributing to them a place to live.
Bribery, forgery, nepotism, embezzlement, and an inability by the central government to correct any of it has crippled the ministry's ability to adequately lead and coordinate its central task.
SIGAR has recommended U.S. cease providing money to the refugee ministry until it has confirmed it is effectively combating internal corruption. A State Department official agreed with that assessment in a response included in SIGAR's report.
Aloise says little is known so far about new leadership installed at the ministry, but he has cautious faith in the new government under President Ashraf Ghani.
"Ghani is committed to fighting corruption," Aloise says, recounting meetings with the president where he brought along dog-eared copies of SIGAR's reports. "He wants to have 'a jihad on corruption,' and that's a very encouraging sign. And that means to all the ministries."
The situation appears bleak for displaced Afghans, who amid the withdrawal of U.S.-led coalition forces and a resurgence of Taliban control in some traditional strongholds, are not at the forefront of war planners' minds.
"There's so much uncertainty, especially now. There's been so much more fighting recently, and that's going to cause more problems," says Aloise, adding the number of refugees will likely increase as well. 

بنوڅیان له پاکو اوبو محرومه دي

د بنو ښاریان وايي، د څکلو اوبو غځېدلي نلونه یې په کوڅو کې د ګنده نالیو او ګټرو تر څنګ تېر شوي چې له کبله یې په خلکو کې ناروغیانې خورېږي. د مشال راډيو خبریال عمردراز وزیر یې راپور جوړ کړی

Pashto Music - Mama Day - Rahim Shah

Pashto Music - "Pekhawar Kho Pekhawar Dy Kana" by Irfan khan

Pashto Music - Afshan Zebi - Bibi Shireeni

Pashto Song - Afshan Zebi - ''Sheen Aasman''

Islamic militants are obtaining ID cards in Pakistan for as little as $100 a bribe

By Asif Shezad 

Foreign Islamic militants have been able to secure Pakistani national identity cards for years in exchange for bribes as low as $100, giving them vastly greater freedom to operate, according to a report by Pakistan's top intelligence agency obtained by The Associated Press.
The issue of foreign jihadis operating so easily in Pakistan has regional and even global implications.
The country has long been a destination for aspiring global jihadis to receive training, some of whom are sent back abroad to conduct attacks. Foreign governments, particularly neighboring Afghanistan, have frequently accused elements of the Pakistani government of sheltering Islamic militant groups that frequent the porous and lawless tribal regions along the Afghan border.
According to the recent report by the Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI, thousands of foreigners have illegally obtained Pakistani national IDs. Most of them are Afghan refugees trying to have a more regular status, but they also include at least dozens of Islamic militants from China, the Maldives, Uzbekistan and the United States.
Pakistani militants also often secured a second national ID card under a fake name, making it harder for local law enforcement to track and apprehend them, the report says.
"If the registration authority of any country is not corruption free, there are serious security concerns," said Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan at a press conference in Islamabad on Aug. 23. Khan said he had set up a permanent committee of officers to work on ending the practice, adding, "We have prioritized it."
Among the most notorious beneficiaries of this system was Adnan Shukrijumah, a Saudi-born U.S. citizen and a top al-Qaida commander. Shukrijumah was killed in a Pakistani army raid in a tribal region along the Afghan border in December 2014. He was found in possession of a Pakistani national identity card under the name of Shahzaib Khan, according to the ISI report.
The vast majority of those obtaining fake national IDs were Afghan refugees seeking to extend and legitimize their presence in Pakistan. But the loophole was also regularly exploited by foreign Islamic militants. The ISI report lists more than 40 foreign militants and their family members who had lived illegally in Pakistan— some of them wanted for terrorism-related charges in Pakistan or in their home countries.
Shukrijumah was on the FBI's most wanted list with a $5 million reward for his capture offered by the U.S. government. Another example was Mohammed Amin, a native of the Maldives who was wanted by his government. Amin lived in Pakistan for four years with a fake ID; according to the ISI report, he fled the country in 2011 using a Pakistani passport.
The IDs were most useful for men like Shukrijumah, who could visually pass as Pakistanis.
But even for foreign militants who looked distinctly foreign, the IDs could be used for renting apartments and vehicles, buying cell phones and SIM cards or wiring money.
The main fault in the ID scandal seems to lie with corruption in Pakistan's National Data Registration Authority, or NADRA, the organization that issues national ID cards.
An initial NADRA probe has termed the issuance of the ID cards to foreigners "a threat to national security" and recommended a fact-finding commission.
In a second NADRA internal report, seen by the AP, a low-level Pakistani clerk was found to have made millions of rupees, equivalent to tens of thousands of dollars, stashed in multiple bank accounts, by issuing fake ID cards to local al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants.
A NADRA spokesman, Samad Khurram, said that his department had already sacked 43 officials, including one director general, three directors and several other high profile employees — some of whom were arrested and charged with crimes including fraud and forgery.
Government prosecutor Manzoor Ahmad said that a court last week in the southwestern city of Quetta sentenced two NADRA officers to 20 years in prison each. Two lower-level employees received jail sentences of seven and four years.
On Tuesday, three NADRA offices in the southern city of Karachi were shut down and sealed, said Ashfaq Aalam Khan, a Federal Investigation Agency official, who is part of the taskforce probing the issue. He said his agency had already opened several inquiries after arresting six senior NADRA officials, and nearly 500 more cases being pursued against the employees and their partners and front men outside the government.
Khurram, the NADRA spokesman, said another 120 employees were still facing an internal inquiry. More than 29,000 fraudulent ID applications from foreign nationals were found in the system, Khurram said, adding that the majority were from Afghan refugees. Khan, the interior minister, said that some 80,000 fake ID cards had been blocked in the last four years.
Khurram wouldn't say whether the removal from jobs and the inquiries were related to the ISI report. "We do not comment on an on-going inquiry," he said.
A former chief of the anti-cybercrimes division at the Federal Investigation Agency, Ammar Jaffri, said the flood of fake IDs has already hindered authorities' ability to track the communications and financial networks of terrorist groups.
"If you start tracking a terror plot or its financing in Europe or America, you may simply end up at a fake ID card issued in Pakistan," he said.

Anti-masses policies of the PMLN’s federal government is creating unrest among the masses

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPAs Sardar Muhammad Bux Maher, Khursheed Ahmed Junejo and Muhammad Ali Bhutto said India is playing aggressive on LoC, under which the civilian population is the sole target while the security forces are at war with the insurgents and terrorists within the country in which officers and troopers are laying their lives for the defence of the country. The overall scenario is a candid proof that Pakistan is at war and a victim of Indian-backed insurgency and terrorism.
However, the elected democratic government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz is plowing a different war inside the country by provoking the masses for a greater scale agitation on unprecedented price-hike, increase in gas, electricity tariffs and other taxes due to which the people are losing their sources of living and are prone to commit suicide for hunger and poverty.
In a statement issued from the PPP Media Cell Sindh Thursday, they said that the overall anti-masses policies of the PMLN’s federal government is creating unrest among the masses that is creeping under the carpet but sadly the PMLN federal government is rejecting it or is deliberately avoiding to address it.
They said it seems as if the federal government of PMLN is knowingly avenging on the people for their failing to take to street against his arrest and exile to Jeddah. Whatever be of it, Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif should learn this reality that not a single man would take to street in his support for his IMF-dictated anti-masses policies, which have deprived the people of two time meal.
They said that the PMLN’s federal government is lacking the capacity to preempt the fast looming public reaction against the anti-social policies.
They said the PPP had during its previous tenure introduced and promoted the policy of reconciliation, political tolerance and that not a single case of political victimisation was on record during PPP’s past tenure. Unfortunately, PPP is being politically victimized in PMLN’s tenure today. Despite the fact that the PPP fully supported the PMLN for the sake of democracy but the PMLN has chosen the path of political victimisation.
They said that the masses are in wrath while they are getting fed up with the democratic system because they complain that the democratic government has totally failed to provide relive and solve their problems but has thrown extra burden on them.
They said it is clear now that either the PMLN federal government does not have the capacity to deliver to the masses and make their life easier or everything is done against the interest of the common people under a well-defined plan.
They warned the PMLN federal government to realize the problems of the common man or else nothing would be left and if the democratic system is hurt, the PMLN would be solely responsible.

Pakistan - Cases against myself, other PPP leaders discrimination, character assassination: Yousaf Raza Gilani

Former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was granted protective bail by Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi on Wednesday in a ninth case registered against him by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) with regards to a multi-billion rupee scam involving the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
The petition for bail in the ninth case was filed by Gilani’s counsel yesterday, but was registered too late in the day for any conclusion to be reached on the matter.
Speaking to the press, Gilani said he suspected there were five or six more cases against him in the pipeline. He alleged that the FIA had visited his Multan residence and harassed his employees. He called the incident “discrimination” and “character assassination of a political party”.
PPP Secretary General Sardar Latif Khosa said the former prime minister’s lawyer Farooq H. Naek tried to get protective bail for Gilani so he wasn’t arrested before he could be presented in court.
He added that there shouldn’t be any discrimination against the PPP stalwart, saying that the first names on a list presented by the National Accountability Bureau in court were those of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Khosa alleged that Nawaz Sharif had allotted 2,600 two-kanal plots in one day in Lahore’s Johar Town area.
Counsel for the accused Farooq H. Naek said the cases against the former prime minister alleged that Gilani’s deputy secretary had taken a Rs50 lakh bribe, and a confession was forcefully extracted from him under torture. “You cannot run the government and FIA this way,” he said, adding, “Don’t register false cases… and take unfair advantage of your position”. He also appealed to the heads of the FIA to “stop registering false cases”.

Pakistan - Rousing reception awaits Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on his arrival in Lahore

A befitting welcome will be accorded to Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari when he arrives in Lahore later this week for an about week long tour, said Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President PPP Punjab, while talking to a PPP delegation from Shaikhupura that called on him here today. His programme of meetings has been worked out, he added.

The Chairman will preside over meetings of PPP office bearers of districts of South Punjab and Central Punjab.

His meetings with the districts of South Punjab delegates will commence with his interaction of delegates hailing from Lodhran and Vehari followed by Bahawalnagr on the following day.

Similar meetings of the Party delegates hailing from Central Punjab will be held during the Chairman stay in the provincial capital. The Central and Provincial Executive Councils of the PPP will also meet the Chairman at Bilawal House, Lahore, he added.

The Chairman will also address the Kissan Convention in which representatives of the farmers’ community have been invited to attend. The PPP will use the forum to express solidarity with the farmers’ community that has been subjected to extreme hardships due to the anti-farmers policies of the present government for the last two years, he maintained.

Chairman’s meeting with the representatives of Labor Unions, old ideologues and Allied Wings have also been scheduled aimed at meaningful consultations meant to motivate the Party rank and file. The Chairman will also meet representatives of media.

Chairman tour has assumed the added significance in the face of forthcoming local bodies’ and by-elections in the province.. he further stated.

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Clinton, Trump and the Politics of Self-Destruction

By Peter Wehner

RIGHT now it looks very much as if the two major political parties in America are in a race to see which one can destroy itself first.
On the Republican side, Donald J. Trump not only leads but dominates the presidential race. Crude, erratic, unprincipled and unelectable, Mr. Trump, if he were to win the nomination, would do catastrophic damage to the Republican Party. But the Democratic Party, if it were to nominate Hillary Clinton, would be inviting a different kind of disaster.
One clue as to how vulnerable Republicans consider Hillary Clinton to be is the size of the Republican presidential field, 17 — the largest in a century. One explanation for this conga line of candidates is a sense that history is on their side. It’s difficult for the same party to win three consecutive presidential terms. But much of the optimism of Republicans has to do specifically with Mrs. Clinton.
Since the 2008 campaign, it’s been pretty clear that she is, to put it mildly, not a natural political talent. Mrs. Clinton lost a nomination she was heavily favored to win. Her campaign was poorly managed, plagued by indecision, confusion and poisonous infighting. During that run she showed herself to be, in Barack Obama’s withering phrase, “likable enough.”
Things haven’t gotten any better for her since. In public Mrs. Clinton often comes across as inauthentic, charmless and brittle, and she is poor on the stump. When campaigning, one senses that for her it’s an act of will rather than an act of joy. In these respects, she is the antithesis of her husband. Mrs. Clinton’s supporters point to her experience as a strength. But that can be a double-edged sword; her opponents have some say in which experiences define her. Her first incursion into federal policy was her health care plan, which politically speaking was a disaster. It led to Republicans gaining control of the House in 1994 for the first time in 40 years.
During Mrs. Clinton’s eight years as a senator, she left barely a trace. While she was secretary of state, America’s relationship with our allies worsened, global instability increased and American influence decreased. If Republican presidential candidates are smart, they will use her experience to establish a record of incompetence.
All of this was known before the current presidential campaign cycle began earlier this year. Since then, there has been an intervening event that may well turn Mrs. Clinton from a weak candidate into a crippled one: the stunning revelation in early March that she conducted State Department business on a private email server.
We know from the inspector general of the intelligence community that at least two of her emails contained “top secret” information. According to former intelligence officials, the information on her server was most likely compromised by foreign intelligence services. She not only received but also wrote and sent information now deemed classified. And in trying to cover up her actions, Mrs. Clinton appears to have stretched the truth. The F.B.I. now has Mrs. Clinton’s private server and a thumb drive that had been in her lawyer’s possession. An investigation is underway, and some of the more than 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton deleted may be recoverable.
And here’s an ominous precedent: Gen. David H. Petraeus, the former C.I.A. director and one of the greatest military commanders of his generation, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information, a violation that may prove to be lesser than those Mrs. Clinton may have committed.
Mrs. Clinton has lost control of events as a result of an obsessive need to manipulate them. And Republicans, who already considered her something of an ethical mess, are finding she has exceeded even our expectations.
Mrs. Clinton has already suffered significant political damage. Her once formidable leads against Republicans and her primary Democratic challenger, Bernie Sanders, have narrowed. In a recent Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll, Mrs. Clinton’s favorability ratings in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania were very negative, while her honest and trustworthy numbers were in the low 30s. Another Quinnipiac University poll asked voters what’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton. The first three were “liar,” “dishonest” and “untrustworthy.”
If nominated, Mrs. Clinton will be the weakest Democratic nominee since Michael Dukakis in 1988. But many Republicans, presented with this golden opportunity, are enamored of a man who, if he’s the nominee, will be their weakest since Barry Goldwater in 1964. The Republican Party has a much deeper and more impressive field than the Democrats do, so they still have plenty of alternatives. But as summer gives way to fall, one of those alternatives had better emerge. The Democratic nominee will be beatable, but not if Donald Trump, unreason personified, is the unappealing face of Mr. Lincoln’s party.

China's Major Role in WWII Victory 'Greatest Untold Story'

China’s contribution to putting an end to World War II is among the greatest untold stories of modern history, analysts and academics told Sputnik.

Gauri Khandekar, deputy director at the Global Relations Forum (GRF) non-profit association, argued that China played an important role in the war contrary to widespread knowledge. 

 "China’s role in World War II as the first Allied power to fight the Axis is the most unrecognized contribution and greatest untold story of the Second World War," Khandekar stressed.

The GRF deputy director explained that contribution by evoking the words of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who according to the Roosevelt Institute called China a key US ally.

Kenneth Pomeranz, professor of East Asian languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago, agreed that it was vital to appreciate China’s role in World War II.

"Japan ultimately lost the war at sea and in the air, and China’s battles were mostly on land. But it did play a crucial role," Pomeranz told Sputnik.
He pointed out China’s ability to keep over half of Japan’s total armed forces "tied up" from 1937 to 1945, and resist "successfully enough" kept the Japanese empire and its Axis alliance from defeating the Allied powers.
Wu Fei, professor at China Guangzhou Jinan University, argued that an upcoming military parade in Tiananmen Square exemplifies China’s awareness of and ability to uphold a post-war world order.

"There is no doubt that the parade will not only bring together national consciousness inside the country, but improve the overall understanding of the position the country will occupy in the future," Wu said.
The professor advocated the need to hold military parades in an era of multipolarity as a means for states to effectively convey their development strategies to neighboring countries, as well as Western nations.
"There are two powers in the world, namely China and Russia, that need to bring themselves to others’ attention and are able to do so effectively," Wu stressed.
Nearly 12,000 troops are expected to take part in the parade, and China’s latest military hardware will be unveiled for the first time on Thursday.
The GRF’s Gauri Khandekar warned that, despite some 30 delegates descending in the Chinese capital for the parade, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to avoid it only serves to "fuel further antagonism" between the two former enemies.

Read more:

Walk the Walk: China Backs Up Talk of Peace With Substantive Military Cuts

In a speech ahead of the parade marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender and the conclusion of the Second World War on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a surprise announcement, pledging to reduce the size of China's armed forces by 300,000 personnel, and vowing that his country is committed to a path of peaceful development.

With the eyes of the world set on Beijing ahead of the grand parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Xi stressed that his country "will remain committed to peaceful development," emphasizing the point by declaring: "Here, I announce that China will cut the number of its troops by 300,000." 
The cuts are equivalent to a 13 percent reduction in the size of the country's 2.3 million-strong People's Liberation Army. Russian experts believe them to be part of a continued military restructuring program, with the cuts expected to take place over the course of one-to-two years, via reduced recruitment and natural attrition, as soldiers serving 2-3 years make their way back into civilian life. 
According to Xinhua, this will be the country's fourth large-scale reduction in personnel levels since the 1980s. Between 2003 and 2005, President Jiang Zemin oversaw cuts of 200,000 soldiers. Earlier reforms, in 1997 and 1987, saw troop numbers drop by 500,000 and 1.03 million, respectively. 
Naturally, Western outlets were quick to voice their skepticism over the measure, with an expert cited by the New York Times suggesting that the cuts were 'window dressing', adding that they will actually free up the country's military budget toward technologically advanced military hardware.

'No Matter How Strong, China Will Never Seek Global Hegemony'

Amid growing American and Japanese fears of China's expanding economic and military potential, including an increasingly tense situation surrounding territorial disputes in the South China Sea, President Xi attempted to soothe his detractors, pledging that his country would "never seek hegemony or expansion."
In what appeared to be a statement aimed directly at Japan, which cost millions of Chinese soldiers and civilians their lives during its invasion and occupation of much of China and other parts of Asia, Xi emphasized that China "will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation."

Reviving and Preserving Historical Memory

Looking to right the historical wrong of China's underestimated and undervalued contribution to victory in the global war against fascism, which he characterized as a "decisive battle between justice and evil, light and darkness, and between progress and reaction," the leader noted that "the Chinese people held ground in the main theater in the East of the World Anti-Fascist War, thus making a major contribution to victory."
That war first began for China nearly a decade before it engulfed the rest of the world, in September 1931, when Japan invaded Manchuria. Later, after Japanese forces began their invasion of the rest of the then-divided country, Chinese forces ended up tying up a majority of Japanese forces throughout the course of the war, even following the entry of Britain and the US into the war.
In a tribute to China's wartime allies, Xi noted that "the Chinese people will always remember what the people of other countries did for the victory of their War of Resistance." In a special homage to the Soviet war effort, which Chinese media and historians have come to characterize as the main allied force in the European theater, Xi noted that China and the Soviet Union bore the brunt of militarist Japanese and Nazi German aggression, losing, in his words, 35 million and 27 million people, respectively.
Xi emphasized that ultimately, his country's wartime efforts had "crushed the plot of the Japanese militarists to colonize and enslave China, and put an end to China's national humiliation of suffering successive defeats at the hands of foreign aggressors in modern times." In his words, "this great triumph re-established China as a major country in the world and won the Chinese people [the] respect of all peace-loving people around the world."

Imperative for Peace

Tying the commemoration celebrating the end of the most devastating conflict in human history to the present, Xin emphasized that "the experience of war makes people value peace all the more. The aim of our commemoration…is to bear history in mind, to honor all those who laid down their lives, to cherish peace and open up the future." 
The president explained that remembering the war "helps us better appreciate the value of peace," adding that while "peace and development have become the prevailing trend" in the world, "the world is far from tranquil [and] war is the sword of Damocles that still hangs over mankind."
The president emphasized the importance of learning "the lessons of history," along with the need to foster "a keen sense of a global community" and a "shared future" in order to avoid cataclysm.
"Prejudice, discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and suffering, while mutual respect, equality, peaceful development and common prosperity represent the right path to take," Xi noted, stressing the need to "build a new type of international relations" on the basis of "win-win cooperation" between nations.
Thursday's grand parade, the country's first such event marking the end of the Second World War, featured over 12,000 troops, 500 armored vehicles, and 200 aircraft. The parade was led by veterans of the war, who were carried in vehicles, and flanked by a 1,000 troop-strong contingent from over a dozen countries, including Russia. The event was attended by the leaders of nearly 30 countries, including the Russian president. Most Western leaders refused to attend.

With 2.3 million personnel, the People's Liberation Army, consisting of four service branches including the Ground Force (1.6 million personnel), the Navy (255,000), the Air Force (400,000) and the Second Artillery Corps (the country's strategic nuclear forces, 100,000 personnel), is presently the world's largest military force. The PLA's budget, equivalent to $141 billion US, or 1.5 percent of the country's GDP, was ranked second in the world behind that of the United States ($581 billion, 3.3 percent of GDP in 2015). China's efforts to modernize its armed forces has been intensely criticized by Western observers, although Beijing has repeatedly emphasized that its efforts are aimed at preserving peace through a fairer global balance of forces.

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China - Xi says Anti-Fascist War "a decisive battle" for justice

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday the Chinese People's War of Resistance AgainstJapanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War were "a decisive battle between justice and evil, between light and darkness, and between progress and reaction."
Xi made the remarks while addressing a gathering to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War in downtown Beijing.
"In that devastating war, the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression started the earliest and lasted the longest," he said.
Ravaging through Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, that war inflicted over 100 million military and civilian casualties. China suffered over 35 million casualties and the Soviet Union lost more than 27 million lives, according to Xi.
The victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression is "the first complete victory" won by China in its resistance against foreign aggression in modern times, he said.
"This great triumph crushed the plot of the Japanese militarists to colonize and enslave China and put an end to China's national humiliation of suffering successive defeats at the hands of foreign aggressors in modern times," he said.
The president said that this victory also re-established China as a major country in the world and won the Chinese people respect of all peace-loving people around the world.
"This great triumph opened up bright prospects for the great renewal of the Chinese nation and set our ancient country on a new journey after gaining rebirth," he said.

China - Xi calls on countries to remember war history, pursue peaceful development

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday that all countries should draw lessons from the history of World War II and stick to peaceful development.
Xi made the remarks while addressing a reception after a grand military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.
"It is our sincere hope that all countries will draw wisdom and strength from history, pursue peaceful development and work together to open up a promising future for world peace," he told more than 800 Chinese and foreign guests.
China's victory of the war was a great triumph won by the Chinese people fighting shoulder to shoulder with their anti-fascist allies and the people throughout the world, he said.
"As the main Eastern theater of the anti-fascist war, China's war of resistance made a critical contribution to its worldwide victory," Xi added.
"No force is greater than working together with one mind," he said, noting that during the war, people from anti-fascist allies and other forces across the world joined hands in the fight against their common enemy.
"We the Chinese will never forget the invaluable support given by the peace-loving and just countries, peoples and international organizations to our fight against Japanese aggressors."
Xi expressed heartfelt gratitude to all foreign governments, international organizations and friends from other countries that gave assistance and help to the Chinese people during the war time.
History may have twists and turns but is bound to go steadily forward, the president said. History is etched on people's hearts and minds and brooks no denial, nor can it be written off.
"We commemorate the victory of our war of resistance and the world anti-fascist war and condemn the brutality of the aggressors," Xi said. "We do this to rekindle the yearning for and commitment to peace, not to prolong hatred."
He stressed that all people must have the right outlook on history and remember the inspiration and lessons of history by heart.
"Denying past aggression is to make a mockery of history, and constitutes an insult to the human conscience."
With a painful memory of the past, Xi said, the Chinese people have persistently committed themselves to a path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening-up.
"A stronger and more developed China will mean a stronger force for world peace," the president said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, top legislator Zhang Dejiang, and other top leaders including Yu ZhengshengLiu YunshanWang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli were also present at the event.

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