Veteran Miao Kun, center, is overwhelmed with emotion after learning that the plan to repatriate the remains of 347 Chinese expeditionary soldiers from Myanmar was postponed in Myitkyina, northern Myanmar, Nov 6, 2015. [Photo/IC]
The Yunnan Townsmen Association, a non-governmental organization in Myitkyina, stood in the way as the Chinese side tried to take the remains out of Myanmar, thwarting the original plan to bring the them back to Southwest China's Yunnan province on Friday. A welcome ceremony, scheduled for Friday, was cancelled.
The association in Myitkyina was formed by Chinese descendants from Yunnan. Though the reason for its opposition remains unclear, historian Ge Xuya said the organization didn't mean any ill will. "They didn't do this to target China," said Ge. "They want the remains to be kept in Myanmar so that they can also pay tribute to the war heroes."
The remains were found in the northern suburb of Myitkyina during a search initiated by Longyue Charity Foundation, a Chinese NGO, in April.
In 1942, China sent 100,000 expeditionary soldiers to Myanmar and India to fight Japanese forces with the Allies. During the war, nearly half of China's troops were killed or injured.