BEIJING, Sept. 28 -- The handover ceremony of the 7th batch of remains of Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) martyrs was held in Inchon, South Korea on the morning of September 27. The plane carrying 117 CPV martyrs’ remains took off and headed back to China after the ceremony.
Li Jingxian, deputy director of the Commendation and Memorial Department of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, said in an interview that this year coincides with the 70th anniversary of the CPVs going abroad and fighting the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. The ceremonies of handover, return and burial of the CPV martyrs’ remains are an important part of a series of commemorative activities.
This time, a total of 117 remains of CPV martyrs were returned from South Korea. The number of remains is the second largest following the first batch of 437 remains of CPV martyrs in 2014.
During the preparation process, the two countries worked hard to overcome difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relevant military and local departments in China have also made close cooperation to ensure the smooth implementation of the handover and return of CPV martyrs’ remains. Besides, this is the first time that China’s homemade Y-20 transport aircraft has been entrusted with the mission of transporting the remains of CPV martyrs, which demonstrated the great importance attached by the Chinese government.
The six previous returns of the remains of CPV martyrs all happened on the eves of the Tomb Sweeping Festival. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony of welcoming back CPV martyrs’ remains this year was finally scheduled on the eve of September 30, the Martyrs’ Day. "Finding relatives of the martyrs" would be one of the most important tasks after welcoming back the martyrs’ remains.
According to statistics, there have been more than 197,000 confirmed CPV martyrs. Since 2014, China has welcomed back the remains of 599 CPV martyrs in six batches with the highest level of etiquette. However, many of them cannot be identified, even their family members have no knowledge that they have returned home with their remains.
Nowadays, great progress has been made in the search for relatives of CPV martyrs. Li introduced that scientific research institutions are entrusted to collect DNA information on the returned remains, and thousands of items left by CPV martyrs are counted and sorted out, with electronic files being established. Besides, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs has launched a martyrs’ remains search and identification center to provide professional support for the search and excavation, identification and protection, and historical data research of martyrs’ remains including CPV martyrs.
Li emphasized that the DNA database will continue to be perfected for the identification of CPV martyrs’ remains and finding of their families. The unearthed relics of CPV martyrs will be kept safely, and collection and exhibition of CPV martyrs' relics have also been scheduled for the better remembering of the martyrs and history, Li added.