Fifty-three Chinese who lived and worked near Moscow during World War II were honored on Wednesday at a medal ceremony at the Russian embassy in Beijing
This article originally appeared at China Daily
Fifty-three Chinese who lived and worked near Moscow during World War II were honored on Wednesday at a medal ceremony at the Russian embassy in Beijing.
The event was the latest of 60 high-profile activities planned by China and Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and highlight the close ties between the two nations.
"Russia and all Russian people thank you for your contribution to the victory of the Great Patriotic War," Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov told the 32 veterans in attendance to whom he presented Jubilee Medals. "Our country will remember the heroes who protected and liberated the Soviet Union and contributed to the anti-fascist war, no matter which country they come from."
Twenty-one of the people honored were unable to attend the ceremony due to age and ill health. The embassy will present them their medals either at their home or in the hospital.
Chen Zutao, a representative of the recipients, went to the Soviet Union in 1940 to study.
"I stayed in Russia for 13 years and graduated from a Russian college," said Chen. "In 1940, I came to the Soviet Union. One year later, the Germans attacked the Soviet Union. I went through the events that followed with the Russian people. We were tested together by the war."
Most of the recipients are descendants of the first generation of top officials of the People's Republic of China. Among them was Mao Zedong's daughter Li Min.
From 1941 to 1945, many of them stayed at an international school in Moscow named Ivanovo International Orphanage, where the children of Josip Broz Tito and other Communist leaders received part of their education.