XIAN, China (Yonhap) ― In another slap to the face of Japan, China plans to unveil a stone monument later this month honoring Korean soldiers who fought for their peninsula’s liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule, multiple sources said Sunday.
China earlier this year had dedicated a memorial to a prominent Korean independence hero, Ahn Jung-geun, who assassinated the Korean Peninsula’s first Japanese governor-general, Hirobumi Ito, in its northeastern city of Harbin in October 1909.
Japan had reacted angrily to the Ahn memorial, calling him a terrorist.
In a similar move that is certain to anger Japan again, China is pushing to set up the commemorative stone monument in its ancient city of Xian, where the Korean independence fighters were based, two diplomatic sources said.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye had requested for China to build the Ahn memorial and the stone monument during her meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in June last year.
Reports at that time said Xi had accepted Park’s request.
As far as their shared history is concerned, South Korea and China have much in common. Both suffered under Japan’s imperialistic aggression in the early part of the 20th century, including World War II.
“Preparations to unveil the monument have been completed,” a diplomatic source in Xian said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “An opening ceremony would be held later this month with government officials from the two nations attending.”
Another diplomatic source said the opening ceremony is likely to be held on May 22, disclosing that the monument will be set up along with a 3-meter-high pavilion at the Duquzhen of Changan district in Xian, where the Korean independence fighters were stationed in 1942.