A few days ago, I was walking down Wangfujing Dajie, Beijing’s main shopping street, when I came across a public sculpture exhibition dedicated to world peace. Clearly, the standard olive branches and children-holding-doves material, while represented, wasn’t enough for the organisers of this exhibition. The vast majority of the pieces were instead of the time-honoured peace symbol of the headless Japanese soldier. As I stood in front of one sculpture depicting a katana slicing through the helmet of a Chinese soldier, I overheard two parents in front of me telling their five year-old daughter, “You see, this is because the Japanese came to China and killed us Chinese people.”
As I continued along, I came across a statue of Joseph Stalin, posed with his pipe and looking friendly as he chatted with FDR and Churchill at Yalta. What can you say?