|Soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army carry coffins containing remains of soldiers of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) dead in the 1950-53 Korean War as they arrive at the Taoxian International Airport in Shenyang, capital of China, March 28, 2014. South Korea on Friday handed over to China the remains of 437 CPV soldiers dead in the Korean War. (Xinhua/Yang Qing)|
SHENYANG, March 28 -- The remains of 437 Chinese soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War returned to China on Friday morning.
Two Chinese fighter jets escorted a plane, which carried the coffins of the soldiers. The plane landed at an airport in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, at around 9:20 a.m..
At 11:30 a.m., a grand ceremony was held at the airport to welcome back the remains of the war dead.
During the ceremony, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli praised the outstanding service of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) during the war.
Though it has been more than 60 years since the war, the CPVs and their commendable military service have never been forgotten, he said.
"We hold the grand ceremony to highly praise the CPV martyrs, our deepest thoughts are with them and our highest respect goes to them," he said.
The victory in the Korean War safeguarded New China's security and dignity, and preserved peace in Asia and the world as a whole, Zhang said, adding the spirit displayed by the soldiers during the Korean War will always be "valuable assets" of the Chinese people.
A transfer ceremony was held on Friday morning at South Korea's Incheon International Airport, about 50 km west of the capital of Seoul. The coffins and belongings of the fallen soldiers were handed over to a Chinese delegation.
The Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) fought side by side with the army of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the Korean War against the South Korean army and U.S.-led UN forces. Tens of thousands of CPV soldiers died on the Korean Peninsula during the war, which ended in an armistice in 1953.