A funeral ceremony was held in the barracks of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in Jiangsu Province, east China, Thursday, in memory of people killed in a military plane crash on June 3.
Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC)Central Committee, Chinese president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), sent a floral wreath to the ceremony.
The transport aircraft crashed in East China's Anhui Province on June 3, killing all the 40 people on board. Air Force sources said that the aircraft was on a mission when it crashed, according to previous reports.
No details were available about the mission, the exact location of the crash or the identities of the victims.
CMC vice chairmen Guo Boxiong, Cao Gangchuan and Xu Caihou, and CMC members Liang Guanglie, Li Jinai, Liao Xilong, Chen Bingde, Qiao Qingchen, Zhang Dingfa and Jing Zhiyuan also presented their floral wreathes to the memorial service.
When delivering an address at the funeral service, Guo Boxiong called the deaths of the victims in the June 3 air crash a major loss for the modernization of the Air Force and an enormous mishap for their families.
According to Guo, chairman Hu has paid great attention to the accident and the families of the victims. He gave an instruction immediately after he received a report on the crash, ordering to probe into the cause and properly handle the follow-up issues.
On June 4, chairman Hu expressed deep condolences over the death of the people in a message to the families of the victims, according to Guo.
Guo said that the victims, who had carried out their sacred mission endorsed by the Party and the people, showed their absolute faith to the Party, love to the motherland and the people, and endless pursuit for the modernization of national defense and the military force.
He said that the victims had made outstanding contributions with painstaking efforts to the building up of a powerful Air Force.
"They had composed a brave song of patriotism and heroism with their lives," he said, "Their contribution will be inscribed in the hearts of their compatriots and their heroic names will stay alive together with mountains and rivers."
Guo called for learning from the victims for their lofty thinking of loving the Party and the country and being devoted to national defense, their revolutionary spirits of working hard and fulfilling their duties, their scientific, truth-seeking, and meticulous work style, and their fighting style of braving all hardships and struggling hard.
According to Guo, the PLA headquarters and the Air Force headquarters sent investigation teams to the site immediately after the wreck of the Air Force transport plane. The investigators combed the area to look into the cause of the accident, with the assistance from troops of PLA' Nanjing Area Command, the Chinese People's Armed Police, and local Party committee, government and people.
Guo thanked the family members of the victims for their giving priority to the interests of the Party and the country and helping the authorities to handle the follow-up issues. "They have stood to their sense in a very lofty manner," he noted.
He continued that the Air Force is a strategic power to support the security and development of the country, and it shoulders an arduous task in carring the PLA's historical mission in the new century. "The CPC central committee, the CMC and chairman Hu have attached great importance to the construction of the Air Force," he said.
He noted that the country will continue to push the modernization of the Air Force with an active manner, while the PLA must perform its duties in a scientific way to ensure the safety and stability of the troops.
Li Jinai read Hu's message to the victims' families at the funeral, which was presided over by Qiao Qingchen, commander of the Air Force. Deng Changyou, commissar of the Air Force, read the lament.
Floral wreaths were also presented by the CMC, PLA headquarters, Party committee of the Air Force, PLA's Nanjing Area Command, as well as the general office of the CMC, provincial Party committees and governments of Anhui and Jiangsu.
Representatives from the military headquarters and local governments as well as victims' families attended the ceremony.