INCHEON, South Korea, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Sunday returned 117 more remains of Chinese soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.
The seventh repatriation ceremony was held at the Incheon International Airport, west of the capital Seoul, to hand over the remains of 117 Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs killed in the war.
During the ceremony, South Korean troops delivered the coffins to Chinese soldiers, and the Chinese ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming covered the coffins with China's national flag before the coffins were carried onto the airplane.
It was the seventh repatriation ceremony. In the previous six repatriations, South Korea had returned the remains of 599 Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs killed in the Korean War, including 437 in 2014, 68 in 2015, 36 in 2016, 28 in 2017, 20 in 2018 and 10 in 2019 each.
At this year's ceremony, Chinese Vice Minister of Veterans Affairs Chang Zhengguo said China and South Korea have jointly carried out handover of the remains of the Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs in South Korea for seven consecutive years and returned in total 716 remains to their motherland, following humanitarian principles and in the spirit of friendship and practical cooperation.
Chang noted that against the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak this year, both sides have made more efforts in order to successfully complete the handover.
The Chinese side appreciated the efforts made by the South Korean side and is ready to deepen friendly cooperation and exchanges between the two countries, promote the protection of the remains of the Chinese People's Volunteers martyrs in South Korea and bring more remains of the martyrs back to their motherland as soon as possible.
In 2014, South Korea agreed with China to repatriate the remains of fallen Chinese soldiers according to international law and humanitarian spirit, the Seoul defense ministry said.
China and South Korea have consulted every year on the repatriation of the Chinese soldiers' remains found in South Korea.
The Chinese People's Volunteers fought alongside the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) army in the Korean War against the South Korean army and the United States-led UN forces between 1950 and 1953.