• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 1:05pm
NewsChina
DIPLOMACY

China's fallen return six decades after Korean war

More than 430 soldiers' remains sent home from S Korea in gesture ahead of Ching Ming festival

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 March, 2014, 3:21am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 March, 2014, 4:20am

The remains of 437 Chinese soldiers killed in the Korean war were returned yesterday, more than 60 years after an armistice ended the fighting.

A plane carrying the caskets arrived in Shenyang , following a handover ceremony with the South Korean government at the Incheon International Airport. South Korean deputy defence minister Baek Seung-joo said the gesture was aimed at fostering "an international community full of humanitarianism and trust".

In the 1950-53 Korean war, China fought on North Korea's side against UN forces led by the United States.

The return of the soldiers' remains became possible when South Korean President Park Geun-hye offered to send them back during a visit to China last June, highlighting warming ties between the former combatants.

Qin Furong, whose father died in the war, said she appreciated the move, although it was unclear if her father's remains were among those returned because many were unidentified.

"We relatives feel gratitude that they could return the bodies to our home country, and I'm glad to see the friendliness South Korea shows toward us," she said.

Ma Huaicheng, an 81-year-old veteran of the conflict who lives in Henan province, welcomed the return.

"This is a very good thing and is a very big comfort for our dead comrades-in-arms and their friends and relatives," he said.

In Seoul, Ministry of Civil Affairs representative Zou Ming thanked South Korea for its "proactive efforts and sincerity". Beijing has never given a precise number for its Korean war dead, but estimates run as high as 900,000.

The bodies were returned just ahead of the Ching Ming, or grave-sweeping festival, when families remember their dead ancestors. They are to be reburied in Shenyang.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

5

This article is now closed to comments

andreaswagner
War criminals no doubt.
lib_prc

Our Korean friends can teach you a thing or two if you can still learn...
lib_prc

Needless to say, China should honor our Korean friends in Seoul for allowing this to happen albeit after 60+ years. I will make Shenyang a stop this year to visit with these fallen soldiers. The fact that China remembers these fallen heroes represents a small glimmer of hope in today's value-less China. It was therefore by no means a small doze of comfort to note that the PLA Air Force sent two fighter jets to escort these fallen soldiers to Shenyang, where a politburo standing committee member (Mr. Zhang) chaired a touching ceremony for the return of these triumphant and fallen martyrs. Very sad we will never see the return of Mr. Mao Jr. Mr. Mao decided to leave him in N. Korea forever as a symbol of friendship between China and N. Korea.
lamlm38
good thing Mao Jr died there otherwise PRC would be just like North Korea..
lib_prc

Welcome home our fallen heroes from our heroic ages! China can go to sleep every night because of you...I am taking my children to the martyrs' park in our city tomorrow to help them remember your spirits.
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or