A workshop was held in Beijing on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Xi'an Incident, which united the Nationalists and Communists in fighting Japanese invaders.
"The incident was a significant historic event in the 20th century China," said Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
He paid homage to the Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT) generals Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng, who detained their commander Chiang Kai-shek and forced him to end a civil war and join hands with the Communists in fighting the Japanese invasion in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
On Dec. 12, 1936, Zhang and Yang captured Chiang as he fled from his compound in his pyjamas. The Communists helped to negotiate Chiang's release two weeks later, resulting in the formation of alliance between the warring sides.
"They are honored heroes of the Chinese nation who made a great contribution to the war against the Japanese aggressors through their lofty actions," Jia said.
"The peaceful ending of the Xi'an Incident showed that all classes and parties, in spite of their divergences and grievances, could be united if they respect national interests and righteousness," he said.