MANILA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Staff from the Chinese embassy in Manila swept tombs on Thursday for Philippine Chinese who died in the Philippines in their fight against Japanese invaders during the Second World War.
Tan Qingsheng, deputy chief of mission and minister counselor at the Chinese embassy, led the embassy staff members visiting the Manila Chinese Cemetery and laying flowers at the foot of the Philippine Chinese anti-Japanese War Heroes Monument.
The commemorations fell on the eve of the traditional Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day, during which Chinese people remember their late loved ones.
During the ceremonies, Tan said that in the Second World War there was a group of Philippine Chinese who devoted themselves to the anti-Japanese fighting in this southeast Asian country, adding these brave Chinese people fought side by side with the local Filipinos, making a significate contribution to the victory of the war.
"These overseas Chinese martyrs are not only the pride of China, but also the historical witness of the friendship between China and the Philippines," said Tan.
After Japan invaded the Philippines on Dec. 8, 1941, the Chinese people who lived in the Philippines organized guerrilla warfare, called "Wha Chi," fighting alongside their Philippine comrades, against Japanese aggressors. More than 200 Philippine Chinese died during the war.
The guerrilla army was made up of mainly Chinese, whose previous generations came from China's southern Fujian and Guangdong provinces. It started with 52 members and expanded to more than 700.
Tan said this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC). "Therefore, we should cherish the memory of those martyrs who died bravely for the establishment of PRC. Without them, there would be no today's PRC, still less the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."
Lv Shuiya, an 89-year-old Philippine Chinese veteran, witnessed Japanese aggressors' atrocity in the Philippines during the Second World War. He joined the anti-Japanese guerrilla "Wha Chi" in the Philippines at the age of 12.
Lv said the experience of fighting against the Japanese aggressors seven decades ago is an unforgettable memory and he came to the commemorative ceremonies on Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day to honor the memory of his comrades-in-arms every year since 2007.
"Both Chinese and Philippine people shouldn't forget these overseas Chinese martyrs," Lv said.