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China marks first Martyrs' Day

Updated: 2014-09-30 10:58

China marks first Martyrs' Day

Pupils in Handan, North China's Hebei province, salute a monument to revolutionary martyrs on Sept 29, the day before the first Martyrs' Day of China. [Photo/Xinhua] 


BEIJING -- A day before the National Day, China rallied to honor and remember the deceased national heroes on the first Martyrs' Day.

The country's top leaders, including President Xi Jinping, paid silent tribute and offered flower baskets at the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tian'anmen Square, downtown Beijing, on Tuesday morning.

China Central Television live broadcast the event.

China's top legislature approved Sept 30 as the Martyrs' Day last month, to commemorate those who lost their lives fighting for national independence and prosperity. 

Martyrs, as defined by the government, are "people who sacrificed their lives for national independence and prosperity, as well as the welfare of the people in modern times, or after First Opium War (1840-1842)."

It is estimated that China has about 20 million martyrs. However, only 1.93 million of them have been named in the government's directory while the rest could not be identified. The number increases by about 300 annually in recent years.

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