Xi replies to letter from families of 'Lisbon Maru' survivors

2022-08-27 Xinhua Editor:Yao Lan

Chinese President Xi Jinping has recently replied to a letter from the families of the survivors of the "Lisbon Maru."

In the letter, Xi encouraged them to continue to actively commit to the China-Britain friendship and looked forward to more British friends making contributions to bilateral relations.

In October 1942, "Lisbon Maru," a cargo vessel, requisitioned by the Japanese army to carry more than 1,800 British prisoners of war (POWs) from Hong Kong to Japan, was hit by the U.S. army off the Zhoushan Islands, China's Zhejiang province.

A total of 843 POWs died, while 384 were rescued by local fishermen. The British officers and soldiers and the British government were deeply grateful for their help.

Referring to the moving story of the heroic rescue back in 1942, Xi pointed out that it bears important witness to China and Britain fighting side by side as allies during World War II against fascist aggression and has left tales of the profound friendship between the people of the two countries.

Xi noted that he is very familiar with this piece of history, and told the story during his visit to Britain in 2015.

The Chinese president stressed that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between China and Britain, adding that over the past half a century, bilateral ties have been able to keep moving forward thanks to the hard work of numerous friendly people from both countries.

Xi also expressed the hope that the families of the survivors will continue to stay committed to the China-Britain friendship, and that more British people will make positive contributions to the development of China-Britian relations.

During his visit to Britain in 2015, President Xi took as an example the rescue of POWs on "Lisbon Maru" to stress that the friendship forged between the Chinese and British people during the war will never fade and has become a valuable asset in bilateral relations.

The daughter of Dennis Morley, a survivor of the "Lisbon Maru," wrote a letter to Xi recently. She recalled China's rescue with gratitude, expressing solid support for an ever-lasting friendship between the British and Chinese people. (Updated)

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