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ROK to return remains of fallen soldiers

By ZHAO LEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-04 09:33

Chinese soldiers carrying coffins arrive at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport in Liaoning province on Sep 2, 2021. The remains of 109 Chinese People's Volunteers killed in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) were returned from the Republic of Korea. [Photo by CHEN SONG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

The remains of a number of Chinese soldiers who died during the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53) will be repatriated to their motherland in mid-September, according to the Ministry of Veterans Affairs.

The ministry said in a news release on Sunday that the remains and items belonging to the fallen soldiers will be placed into cinerary caskets on Sept 15 in the Republic of Korea and delivered the next day to a Chinese delegation before being transported back to China the same day.

The occasion will mark the ninth consecutive year of the handover of Chinese soldiers' remains between the two nations.

The arrangement was agreed upon by officials from both countries who met on Sunday. Both sides said that they will work closely to prepare for the handover and will deepen their cooperation in terms of recovering and returning the remains of Chinese soldiers.

Led by Peng Dehuai, commander-in-chief of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, a total of 2.9 million Chinese soldiers fought in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, and nearly 200,000 of them died in combat.

The ROK began recovering the remains of the fallen soldiers in 2000. A special unit was established by the nation's army in 2003 to take charge of the recovery.

The country has returned the remains of 825 Chinese soldiers since 2014.

The remains have been buried in the Chinese People's Volunteer Army Martyrs' Cemetery in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province.

Each time the remains have been sent back and buried, the Chinese government organized grand ceremonies at the airport and cemetery, showing respect to the fallen heroes. Family members and war veterans are invited to take part.

Local veterans affairs departments in China have been working to identify the fallen soldiers returned from the ROK, and continue to try to find and contact their relatives.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the ROK.

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