Leaders pay respect to fallen heroes

President Xi Jinping straightens the red ribbons on baskets as he pays tribute to national heroes at the Monument to the People’s Heroes in Tian’anmen Square on Sunday. Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, joined representatives from all walks of life to mark the country’s Martyrs’ Day on the eve of National Day. XIE HUANCHI / XINHUA

Country marks fifth Martyrs’ Day; Premier Li pledges continued reforms

President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders of the Communist Party of China participated in a number of events on Sunday in Beijing, including a ceremony commemorating the country’s martyrs and a grand reception to celebrate National Day.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission and other leaders paid tribute and laid floral baskets at the Monument to the People’s Heroes in Tian’anmen Square to honor national heroes on the annual Martyrs’ Day. They were joined by veterans, family members of martyrs and several others.

Martyrs’ Day was approved by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in 2014 to honor those who sacrificed their lives for national independence and prosperity.

The reception was held late on Sunday in the Great Hall of the People. Before that, Xi met with nine Sichuan Airlines crew members of flight 3U8633, who were invited to join the event.

They were named as a “China Aviation Hero Crew” in June for a successful emergency landing that saved the lives of 119 passengers following a broken cockpit window in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on May 14.

The president said safety is the lifeline of the civil aviation industry and should be given great attention at all times. Civil aviation authorities and service providers should correctly handle the dynamic between safety and profit, he said.

Premier Li Keqiang noted in a speech at the reception that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Reform is the fundamental driving force for China’s development, and the country’s determination to advance reform and opening-up will remain as strong as ever, he said.

China will firmly uphold the rules-based multilateral system, open up at a higher level, and share development opportunities and outcomes with other countries while upholding its own interests, Li said. Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative will be boosted to ensure win-win progress, and new areas will be explored through complementarity and mutual opening-up, he said.

The country will continue putting people first in its development endeavors and address their concerns with effective measures, Li said. China will seek to better deliver targeted poverty relief, employment, education, medical care and eldercare by increasing inputs, rationalizing relevant institutions, boosting supplies and providing better services, he said.

Li said China will continue its major policies on Taiwan, uphold the one-China principle and adhere to the 1992 Consensus. The country will firmly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and never allow any separatist attempt or activity for “Taiwan independence” in any form, he said. A broader market and more diverse development opportunities for Taiwan compatriots and enterprises by expanding cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation will be promoted, he said.

On Sunday afternoon, the premier met with a number of new foreign ambassadors and winners of this year’s Chinese Government Friendship Award in the Great Hall of the People.