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Xi Jinping honors Korea-born Chinese general at funeral

By Elizabeth Shim
Xi Jinping honors Korea-born Chinese general at funeral
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a funeral Tuesday for Zhao Nanqi, a military general who served in the 1950-53 Korean War. Image by CCTV

June 26 (UPI) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a funeral ceremony Tuesday for a Korea-born general who gained high office in China following the 1950-53 Korean War.

Xi reportedly expressed his condolences Monday to the family of Zhao Nanqi, former vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, or CPPCC, Xinhua reported.

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The Chinese state media report did not mention Zhao was born in Japanese-occupied Korea and migrated with his Korean family to northeast China before the end of World War II.

Xi attended the funeral service at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing with a delegation of Chinese Communist Party officials, including Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan.

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Former Chinese leader Hu Jintao was also in attendance, according to the report.

At the funeral ceremony, the officials stood in silent tribute, bowed three times and extended condolences, according to the report.

Zhao, whose Korean name is Cho Nam Gi, moved to China's northeastern Jilin province as a child. He served as an officer in the People's Volunteer Army during the 1950-53 Korean War, and later served as vice governor of Jilin Province.

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During the war, Zhao evacuated a cave before U.S. planes bombed the military shelter. He also built the structure in Panmunjom where the 1953 Armistice was signed, according to People's Daily.

He served in leadership positions in the Chinese military and was appointed president of the PLA Academy of Military Science in the early '90s.

Zhao died June 17 at the age of 91.

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Xi's presence at the funeral underscored the traditions of the Chinese Communist Party could look into a boycott of U.S.-made products as a trade war escalates with Washington.

Xi, who has criticized the Trump administration for hitting Chinese goods with tariffs, says he will no longer turn the other cheek and that Beijing plans to strike back.

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