Today marks the anniversary of the 7.7 Incident, the cataclysmic event that led to the outbreak of full-scale fighting between Chinese and Japanese troops in 1937. Better known to the outside world as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the night of 7 July 1937 marks not only the onset of the Second Sino-Japanese War — known domestically as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression — but represent the opening shots of what would soon become the Second World War.
77 years after the event, this year’s anniversary represents a numerically as well as historically significant date. This morning President Xi Jinping gave a speech to mark the occasion at the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, located at the historic bridge at Wanping Fortress near Beijing, telling the audience that “history is history, but facts are facts.”
“Nobody can alter history or the facts,” Xi continued, “victory in the War of Resistance attests to the tenacious vitality and extraordinary ingenuity of the Chinese people; as long we unite in close formation, there is no difficulty we cannot overcome.”