Construction of a new martyr memorial park in the southernmost part of China has officially been completed. The park is located on Chenhang Island, which is part of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea.
The original memorial park was established in 1975 to pay tribute to 18 martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the Battle of the Xisha Islands in January 1974. Construction on the new park began in early March. There is now a 9.8-meter-tall memorial monument made of white marble, complete with carved battle scenes, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily reported.
Over 200 PLA naval officers, veterans from the battle and family members of the martyrs participated in Monday's opening ceremony. All the participants pledged in front of the monument to carry out the martyrs' wishes and resolutely defend national sovereignty, according to the report.
There has been a tradition among PLA soldiers stationed on Chenhang Island to pay tribute to the memorial park during national holidays or when new troops are dispatched to the island. Every vessel harbored on the island also visits the memorial park, reported China News Service.
The Battle of the Xisha Islands was a small-scale ocean battle between China and South Vietnam that broke out on Jan. 20, 1974. During the battle, the PLA navy fought back against South Vietnamese naval forces who were occupying some of Xisha Islands and attacking Chinese civil and military personnel. The PLA navy won the battle, sinking one South Vietnamese military vessel and damaging another three, according to the Xinhua News Agency.