BEIJING (AP) — China’s president has criticized people who he says ignore history and create regional tension at a ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the China-Japan war amid rising tensions between the countries.

Xi Jinping’s speech Monday at a commemoration site was broadcast live on state television.

He said an unspecified “minority group of people … ignore the tens of thousands of lives lost” in the 8-year war.

Afterward, schoolchildren vowed to “remember the history, cherish the peace, do not regret the shame of the nation and realize the Chinese dream.”

The high-profile ceremony comes amid an anti-Japanese propaganda push by Beijing.

Last week, China posted personal accounts of wartime atrocities committed by Japan online following a reinterpretation of Japan’s pacifist postwar constitution that eases restrictions on its military.