China marks Martyrs' Day at Tiananmen Square

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top leaders on Wednesday paid tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives fighting for the country's independence.

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top leaders on Wednesday paid tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives fighting for the country's independence.

Xi and other leaders attended a ceremony at the iconic Tiananmen Square in Beijing to honour and remember deceased national heroes on Martyrs' Day.

Veterans, family members of martyrs and representatives of all walks of life also gathered at the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square to mark the country's second Martyrs' Day on the eve of National Day.

The ceremony started with a crowd of 3,000 people chanting the national anthem. Then they bowed their heads in silent tribute.

Xi tidied a red ribbon tied to one of the baskets and led a group of top officials on a walk of tribute around the monument.

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

It is estimated that China's martyrs number around 20 million. However, only 1.93 million of them have been named in the government's directory, the rest could not be identified.

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

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