Fri, Oct 17, 2014 - Page 4 News List

PLA soldiers’ relatives to remember loss on Kinmen

REST IN PEACE:The event is organized by a brother and sister who lost their father in the battle which saw the deaths of 6,000 PLA and 3,000 ROC soldiers

Staff writer, with CNA

A group of relatives of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers who fell in the 1949 battle of Gunningtou on Kinmen are to visit the outlying island on Dec. 3 to commemorate their dead for the first time.

They are to travel by ferry from Xiamen in Chinese-controlled Fujian Province.

The participants plan to attend a ceremony at a temple in Jinning Township (金寧) on Kinmen to honor the war dead and pay homage to loved ones who were killed in the battle 65 years ago.

The gathering is the brainchild of Song Jiejun (宋杰軍) and Song Xiaofeng (宋曉峰), the son and daughter of a senior PLA officer who took part in the battle.

They have also created a Chinese-language Web site dedicated to the support of PLA soldiers.

The Songs visited Kinmen in 2009 and 2011, touring the sites of six battlefields where PLA soldiers and Republic of China (ROC) troops fought fiercely in 1949.

The brother and sister took back soil to lay on the foundation of a monument in Jinan, Shandong Province, built in 2012 to commemorate PLA soldiers killed in the battle.

The battle began on Oct. 24, 1949, when tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers in Fujian Province invaded Kinmen, which was controlled by the ROC.

A three-day battle commenced in which about 6,000 PLA soldiers died and were buried on Kinmen. About 3,900 were taken prisoner.

The ROC recorded about 3,000 deaths of its soldiers.

The battle gave a boost to the ROC government, which fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War with the Chinese Communist Party.

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