by Le Yanna, Taojun
HANOI, April 5 (Xinhua) -- "The Chinese martyrs who died helping Vietnam in the war against the Americans, are interred here and I am taking good care of them as if they are my own people," Nguyen Duc Quyet, the 69-year-old custodian of Kim Anh Chinese Martyr Cemetery, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
On the same day, a delegation of the Chinese embassy officials in Vietnam, Chinese companies, institutions, students and media representatives, together with accompanying Vietnamese officials, paid tributes at the cemetery on the occasion of Tomb Sweeping Day, or Qingming Festival.
"I live nearby to better take care of the cemetery," said Quyet, who has been the custodian at the cemetery, located in Minh Phu Village in Soc Son County, some 40 km away from the capital Hanoi, for the past 25 years,
He said as a soldier, who also fought in the war against the American invaders, he felt grateful for the help from China, especially from the martyrs.
According to the Chinese embassy in Vietnam, in the latter part of the 20th Century, especially in the war against the United States invasion in the 1960s, upon the request of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people, more than 320,000 Chinese troops joined Vietnam's army in defending the country's independence and territory.
After the war, more than 1,400 Chinese who died in the fighting were laid to rest in Vietnam.
The Chinese martyrs were buried in 40 cemeteries in 22 provinces across northern and central Vietnam.
Five soldiers, from four provinces and cities of China, were buried in Kim Anh Chinese Martyr Cemetery.
"People from both Vietnam and China come to pay their respects to the martyrs during particular festivals and holidays, showing the martyrs are not forgotten," stated Quyet, while trimming the flowers in front of one of the tombs.
"The current development of China-Vietnam relations, characterized as a comprehensive strategic partnership, has proved that Chinese blood spilt during the Vietnam-U.S. war was not in vain," said Hong during his address.
"They are Chinese martyrs who sacrificed themselves here in Vietnam for our country's independence, therefore, we are taking care of them the same as we take care of our Vietnamese martyrs," Quyet said.