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Fascinating stories of the men and women President Xi praised at the UK parliament

By Yao Xinyu (People's Daily Online)    11:06, October 23, 2015

President Xi delivers a speech at UK Parliament. (Photo/Xinhua)

In Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Palace of Westminster to the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, he mentioned four groups of people who should be remembered in the friendly interactions between China and the United Kingdom. Who exactly are these people?

1. During World War II, 24 Chinese naval cadets participated in the Battle of Normandy.

Chinese naval cadets Chu Yuzhang (left) and Xie Lihe (right) participating in pilot training on British aircraft carriers. (File photo)

In the Battle of Normandy 24 Chinese naval cadets fought side-by-side with the soldiers of the allied forces. These 24 cadets were the only soldiers sent by the Chinese government to fight the anti-Fascist war on the European front.

In October 1943 the 24 cadets started training at Greenwich Royal Naval College and finished classes in English, navigation, torpedo, and firearms. After initial training they were sent to warships of each field to practice and join battles. 

Twenty-four Chinese naval cadets training in Greenwich. (File photo)

The Chinese soldiers’ courage, bravery, and excellent performance in the Battle of Normandy were praised by the former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. And what’s even more fortunate and blessed was all 24 Chinese naval cadets witnessed victories in their battles and returned to China after the war.

2. Deceased Lord of Bitker Michael Lindsay took part in the Chinese War of Resistance against Japan.

Michael Lindsay (left) and wife Hsiao Li (right) smuggled supplies into China to help war efforts. 

Michael Lindsay graduated from Oxford University in 1931. Invited by Yenching University, Lindsay came to China to teach at the end of 1937. Outraged by Japan’s invasion he joined the Chinese people’s resistance against Japanese forces and helped smuggle supplies to guerrilla fighters.

In 1941 Lindsay and his wife left Beijing for the Jinchaji base and became a full-time radio technician. He helped the Eighth Route Army building antenna and transmitter connections from Yan’an to San Francisco, reporting the true situation of the Communist Party fighting against the Japanese invaders. In the meantime Lindsay also wrote many articles and took photos of the resistance war for mainstream media like The Times. After the war he kept on studying Chinese history and politics and published a book on the Sino-Japanese War. 

Michael Lindsay, his wife Hsiao Li, and their two children in Oxford, December 1945. (File photo provided by James Lindsay)

3. British nurse Anna Cross recovers from Ebola after taking an experimental drug from China in Africa.

Anna Cross at a press conference after recovery. (File photo)

At the beginning of this year British nurse Anna Cross had been infected with Ebola when she was volunteering in the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone. After she was sent back to the Royal Free Hospital in London doctors treated her with the new Chinese drug MIL77, and she became the first person in the world to take this experimental drug. She recovered and was released in March.

4. Lord Michael Bates walked 1,700 kilometers for Chinese charity fund raising.

Lord Michael Bates walks in the heat. (File photo)

Lord Michael Bates is a minister of state at the Home Office in the UK. On July 27, 2015 he and his wife Li Xuelin set out from Beijing and traveled through Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, accumulating 1,701 kilometers over 71 days before they arrived at Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province on Oct. 5, 2015.

Lord Michael Bates and his Chinese wife Li Xuelin. (File photo)

Bates called it the “Walk for Peace.” 2015 is the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange, and also the 70th anniversary of end of World War II. Bates took this walk as a significant activity to commemorate peace and remember the cruelty of war. After the activity Bates donated all the money of over 500,000 yuan he raised during the trip to China’s Red Cross for public welfare projects.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yao Xinyu,Liang Jun)

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