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Chinese president awards Belarusian WWII veterans with Medals of Peace

Chinese President Xi Jinping has awarded Medals of Peace to 15 Belarusian veterans who took part in the fight against Japanese aggressors at the end of the Second World War. A solemn ceremony was held in the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, where Xi Jinping was personally accompanied by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. The two leaders made several stops in the museum halls.

In the Victory Hall, there were those whose war against Germany continued in the Far East. There, the Soviet Army and Chinese people fought shoulder to shoulder for independence and freedom of China.

Pavel Danilovich Gutenko, a retired Lieutenant General, recalled those war days. In August 1945, he was a common soldier and began an offensive, how he overcame the 800-kilometer Greater Khingan Range and shot down his first aircraft.

Ivan Sedov and Mikhail Uryvaev served in different military units, but today, they are together sharing their memories.

At the Museum’s entrance, Chinese speech was heard. A number of Chinese students were waiting for the head of China. When Xi Jinping arrived, he was personally met by Alexander Lukashenko.

Museum workers conducted a tour for the heads of state.

The Presidents were shown the legendary Katyusha missile systems. Then they got acquainted with exhibitions devoted to the early war and occupation of Belarus. In the Partisan Glory Hall, the delegation stopped several times, as Chinese people are well familiar to the history of mass popular resistance.

Another exhibition is called “Belarus and China. Milestones of military brotherhood”. Here, there is a booth about Chinese patriots fighting in Vitebsk anti-Nazi underground.

In the Victory Hall, veterans met the Presidents standing upright as befits true soldiers.

The ceremony started with the national anthems. Xi Jinping personally conferred Medals of Peace on veterans and both Presidents made photos with them.

Then both leaders delivered their speeches.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
In May 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered, but the Second World War continued. And it ended there, in China, with the defeat of the Kwantung Army. This put an end to Japanese militarism. And this was done by Soviet troops together with the People's Liberation Army of China. The war there, in the Far East, lasted eight long years. It claimed the lives of 35 million Chinese people. President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping decided to hold in September a large-scale celebration of the end of WWII in the Far East, in China. This is a great guarantee that history will never be falsified and your heroism will never be forgotten.

Today, my friend, the President of China, and I came to this sacred room to bow to the fallen and alive.

Xi Jinping, Chinese President:
During the Second World War, Belarusian people demonstrated outstanding courage in the face of the most horrible war in the humankind’s history. With their heroism, Belarusians earned the universal respect and recognition.
Dear veterans, dear friends, this day, while celebrating our common victory, we shouldn’t forget that in the years of our joint fight against Nazi aggressors Belarusian and Chinese people fought shoulder to shoulder. During those years, our strong friendship was sealed with blood. Today, Belarusian veterans who personally took part in those operations are present here. They made a great contribution to our victory, to our liberation. Once again, a low bow with sincere respect in your address.

The head of China said that in 2015 he made a decision to hold a large-scale celebration of the 70th anniversary of WWII in the Far East.

The two leaders wished veterans good health and long life. At the end, a joint photo and a note in the book of honorable guests were made.

Alexander Lukashenko and Xi Jinping visiting the Museum of the Great Patriotic War