INCHEON, South Korea, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Friday returned to China the remains and belongings of 88 Chinese soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.
The ninth repatriation ceremony was held at the Incheon International Airport, west of the capital Seoul, attended by a Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Veterans Affairs Chang Zhengguo, and South Korea's Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Do-hoon as well as officials with the defense ministry.
During the ceremony, representatives of China and South Korea signed a handover document.
Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming covered the coffins of the martyrs with China's national flag before the Chinese side held a memorial service.
The Chinese honor guards escorted the coffins to an air force plane, which will take the fallen heroes back home.
At this year's ceremony, Chang said China and South Korea have jointly carried out the handover of the remains of the Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs in South Korea for nine consecutive years and returned in total the remains of 913 Chinese soldiers to their motherland, following humanitarian principles and in the spirit of friendship and practical cooperation.
Noting that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Korea, Chang said the handover of the remains of the martyrs is an important symbol of the development of China-South Korea relations having kept pace with the times.
The Chinese side appreciated the related efforts made by the South Korean side and will further deepen the pragmatic and friendly coordination with the South Korean side and promote the protection work of the remains of the Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs in South Korea, so as to bring the remains of more martyrs back to their motherland at an early date, Chang added.