With the approaching of the Qingming Festival, a traditional Chinese festival to worship the ancestors and remember the dead, the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia issued an article commemorating the martyrs who had lost their lives in China's peacekeeping efforts and aid operations to Cambodia. The contents are as follows:
Whenever it comes to the Qingming Festival, a day mourning for the dead, there are always many familiar faces occurring to us, including those of the martyrs who had died in China's peacekeeping efforts and aid operations to Cambodia.
In 1959, Luo Jinchun, aged 31, came to Cambodia for a geological survey as a geological expert dispatched by the Chinese government. He won high acclaim from local residents for discovering iron and quartz ores rich in Cambodia for the first time, and helping them resolve the water shortage problem by finding underground water sources . On March 10, 1960, a detonator explosion killed Luo in geological exploration, and his body was buried in Khmer , Cambodia, ever since.
In 1992, about 800 Chinese PLA officers and soldiers headed for Cambodia to perform peacekeeping mission. This is the first time the Chinese military has performed a UN peacekeeping mission. At that time, Cambodia was still at war and in a state of devastation, with many things waiting to be done. These Chinese peacekeepers who had built bridges, roads and barracks there, were witnesses of the friendship between China and Cambodia. On the evening of May 21, 1993, the camp of the Chinese peacekeeping force suddenly suffered fire attacks from unidentified militants, during which two soldiers, namely Chen Zhiguo and Yu Shili, lost their lives.
Although the heroes have passed away, their spirits will live forever. The principle of “showing gratitude to peace” advocated by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen means giving thanks to both the creators and the guardians of peace, which includes the deceased Chinese who had devoted their efforts and even their lives to the peaceful development of Cambodia. Their noble, peace-loving and responsible souls are still shining to this day.
Luo Jinchun, the geological expert buried in Cambodia, has not been and will not be alone. China has never forgotten him and the Cambodian people will always remember him. Marshal Chen Yi, the then Chinese Foreign Minister, and General Nhiek Tioulong , the then Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Planning Minister, wrote the inscription for him. Tens of thousands of Cambodian people attended the funeral with eyes full of tears. The No. 6 Highway at the foot of the Chinese Peacekeeping Martyrs Monument , which was built by them, is now busy at work and heavy with traffic.
The Martyr’s Cemetery for Luo Jinchun, as well as the Chinese Peacekeeping Martyrs Monument, has become symbols of the China-Cambodia friendship, standing tall and upright in the hearts of the two peoples forever. Every year, many Cambodian military and political leaders, local residents, overseas Chinese will spontaneously come to mourn and pay homage to the heroes.
In recent years, under the joint guidance of leaders of the two countries, China and Cambodia have been in brotherly friendship of sharing weal and woe, having achieved remarkable results in the building of a community with a shared destiny. In addition, during the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic, the friendship between the two countries and the two militaries has been further refined and upgraded with fruitful results in politics, economy, and military. China has become Cambodia’s largest trading partner, investor and source of tourists. It has assisted Cambodia in building roads and bridges of more than 3,000 km. Starting from Cambodia, Chinese peacekeeping force has so far become a key force in safeguarding world peace and development.