ROK to hand over remains of Chinese martyrs who died in war 70 years ago

China Daily
Li Jiayao
2023-11-20 15:48:13

Coffins containing the remains of the Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs are escorted by soldiers during a burial ceremony at the CPV martyrs' cemetery in Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning province, Sept 17, 2022. [Photo by Chen Song/for]


China's veterans affairs officials have revealed more details about the DNA identification work and repatriation efforts undertaken as the Republic of Korea prepares to hand over the remains and possessions of 25 Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs to China this week.

The transfer will be the 10th time CPV martyrs' remains have been returned to China from the ROK. The remains will be buried in China in accordance with the consensus and work plan reached by the two countries.

According to a China Media Group report, the handover and burial ceremonies will take place from Wednesday to Friday.

The Chinese delegation will depart for the ROK on Monday. On Thursday morning, officials from both nations will participate in a ceremony marking the handover at Incheon International Airport in the ROK.

After the ceremony, the remains will be transported back to China by Chinese Air Force planes, and a welcoming ceremony will be held at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport in Northeast China's Liaoning province.

On Friday morning, a burial ceremony will be held at a martyrs cemetery in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning.

Li Jingxian, a senior official at the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, said that as of last year, China has welcomed the remains of 913 CPV martyrs who died in the ROK for nine consecutive years. The ROK will continue handing over remains as they are discovered, he said.

Li said that since the beginning of this year, the ministry has been coordinating with relevant departments to communicate with the ROK about the timing of handing over of the remains. Both nations agreed to jointly organize the handover ceremony in the ROK and hold the event on Nov 23.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), which is often referred to as the Korean War in the West.

According to the CMG report, Party and State leaders of China have been invited to attend the ceremony to welcome the remains and deliver speeches.

In addition, youngsters and representatives from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have been invited to participate in the handover and burial ceremonies to further strengthen their patriotism and consolidate national sentiment.

After the remains are returned, DNA identification work will also be carried out, as it plays an important role in confirming the identities of the martyrs so their relatives can be notified.

In July last year, a national laboratory was established specifically to facilitate the DNA identification of martyr remains, according to the report.

Xi Yufeng, a senior official at the Ministry of Veterans Affairs who is in charge of identifying martyrs' remains, said that workers will extract DNA from the soon-to-be repatriated remains as soon as possible and input the information into the database.

"We will fully utilize various technical means to narrow down the possible range of martyrs' relatives, and strive to confirm the identities of more of the martyrs and find their relatives," he said.

Officials are still conducting DNA tests to identify the remains of 913 CPV martyrs who were previously transferred by the ROK. So far, the relatives of 10 martyrs have been identified.

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