Ambassador Mr. Kong Quan delivering his speech at the ceremony, courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in France

China's ambassador to France honours First World War Chinese workers

Posted on on 05 April 2013
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China's ambassador to France, Mr. Kong Quan, honoured Chinese workers who died during the First World War working for France, in a service held on 4th April 2013.

Mr. Quan delivered his speech at a cemetery in Noyelles-sur-Mer - the largest cemetery of Chinese workers in Europe.

The Ambassador paid homage to the "140,000 Chinese workers who came to Europe to earn their living. Throughout their stay, they had to do heavy or even dangerous work, in the humble hope of having modest salaries to survive and support their families. However, thousands of them saw their dreams shattered, and were finally laid to rest forever in a foreign country, surrounded by greenery, far from their homeland".

Mr. Quan was accompanied by Mr. Philippe Dieudonné, sub-prefect of Abbeville, representative of the Prefect of Picardy and Prefect of the Somme, Létocart Michel Mayor of the town of Noyelles -sur-mer.

The Ambassador stated that "the more than 800 headstones in front of us are a silent testimony of a painful episode in the history of mankind. They are also a yearning for the development of our country and peace in our world".

To read Mr. Quan's full speech, visit the French language Chinese Embassy in France's website here.

Images courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in France's website.

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News