China welcomes S. Korea‘s repatriation of Chinese soldier remains

Mar 31, 2016, 07:52 am

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China expresses gratitude to South Korea, which may become an opportunity to improve Korea-China relations

By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - China is giving a warm welcome to South Korea's repatriation of remains of 36 Chinese soldiers who were killed in the Korean War in a ceremony held on March 31. In particular, the Chinese media outlets are creating public sentiment that the event has great historical significance while opening a lengthy special tribute to the soldiers.

The members of the Korea Ministry ofNational Defense for Recovery and Identification prepare the remains of Chinesesoldiers who died in the Korean War in early 1950s, in Paju, Korea, March 28,2016. The remains of 36 Chinese soldiers will be sent back to China after ahandover ceremony on March 31./ Source from China Central Television (CCTV)'s Twitter. 

According to a source in Beijing on Wednesday, the 36 fallen soldiers will return to China on March 31 for a permanent burial at a state cemetery in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province. Since Korea had a thorough DNA identification test on the Chinese soldier remains, there won't be any other type of identification in China.

This repatriation is the third once since the first in 2014 and the second in 2015. Through the two previous repatriations, Korea sent home the remains of 505 Chinese soldiers. Since excavation by the Korea Ministry of Defense is still taking place, more repatriation is likely to take place in the future. In this case, the repatriation will take place just before China's Qingming Festival as the two countries agreed.

It seems the upcoming repatriation is in fact significant considering soured relations between China and South Korea due to the deployment of the terminal high-altitude area defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system in the Korean Peninsula. It's because China may take this as an opportunity to recheck its conception of S. Korea. Fortunately, many Chinese are appreciating Korea for the repatriation.

It can be seen well from Chinese people's comments online, such as "The past is just the past. What matters is now. While not forgetting about the past, not losing one's courtesy towards deceased ones is the attitude of true neighbors." In fact, most of Chinese netizens are paying their tribute of praise to Korea's repatriation in a humanitarian way. Therefore, this repatriation could serve as a stepping stone for improving S. Korea-China relations. This seems why some of Korean sources in Beijing are calling this repatriation as "Remains Diplomacy".

#Chinese soldiers #remains #Korean War #repatriation 
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