Six Kuomintang veterans were honored as martyrs and respectfully called comrades by the Shaanxi provincial government.
The Shaanxi government approved applications from the Shangluo and Baoji city governments on March 28 to grant the six Kuomintang veterans, who were killed during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), the title of revolutionary martyrs in accordance with a document issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 1983.
Xu Zhibang, Hao Xingsi, Ren Bingyang, Wu Zongshu and Wang Jiaqiang, five Kuomintang veterans from Shangluo, were killed in a battle against Japanese invaders in Mount Zhongtiaoshan, Shanxi province, on Jan 23, 1939. Sun Yinzhi, a Kuomintang colonel and regimental commander, was killed on Aug 24, 1939, in a battle against Japanese invaders in Huojia, Henan province.
In accordance with the document issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the families of the six Kuomintang veterans will be treated as martyrs' families.
An official from the Shaanxi provincial civil affairs department who did not want to be named said that the move paid homage to the history and endorsed the contributions of Kuomintang soldiers in the war against Japanese invaders.
Ge Lumin, a 36-year-old resident in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, said the move represents progress.
"We should face up to history, and those who made sacrifices and contributions to our people and country should not be forgotten," he said.
Historical records showed that Kuomintang troops, including the five martyrs from Shangluo, were stationed at Mount Zhongtiaoshan in July 1938 and fought against Japanese invaders for nearly three years. More than 40,000 Kuomintang soldiers were killed, but they stopped the Japanese invaders from entering Northwest China.
Zhang Heng, a scholar with Northwest University in Xi'an, said in his book about the battle that some 3,000 Kuomintang soldiers from Shaanxi province jumped into the Yellow River because they did not want to surrender to Japanese invaders.
"These soldiers fought a bloody battle without being afraid of sacrifice," he said.
According to Kuomintang statistics, some 3.8 million Kuomintang soldiers were killed in more than 39,000 battles in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
The Communist Party of China speaks highly of the Kuomintang's role in the war. Many streets and roads in mainland cities were named after Kuomintang generals who fought during the war, such as Tong Linge Road and Zhang Zizhong Road in Beijing.
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