|Xi Jinping Replies to Letter from a Family Member of a Survivor of the Vessel "Lisbon Maru"|
President Xi Jinping recently replied to a letter from a family member of a survivor of the vessel "Lisbon Maru", encouraging her to actively stay committed to the China-UK friendship and expressing the hope that more British friends will contribute to China-UK relations.
Recalling that fishermen from Zhoushan, China's Zhejiang Province, risked their lives to rescue British prisoners of war (POWs) on the vessel "Lisbon Maru" in 1942, Xi Jinping pointed out that the touching story is an important witness to China and the UK standing shoulder to shoulder as allies during World War II against fascist aggression, and it is also a historical tale of the profound friendship between the two peoples. I am familiar with this history, and I specifically told the story when I visited the UK in 2015.
Xi Jinping stressed that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between China and the UK. Thanks to the hard work of numerous friendly people from both countries, bilateral relations have been able to keep moving forward over the past half a century. He expressed the hope that families of the survivors of the vessel "Lisbon Maru" will stay committed to the China-UK friendship, and that more British people will make positive contributions to the development of China-UK relations.
In October 1942, the Japanese army requisitioned the cargo liner "Lisbon Maru" to carry more than 1,800 British POWs from Hong Kong to Japan. The vessel was torpedoed by the US army when passing through the waters off Zhoushan. A total of 843 British POWs died, while 384 were rescued by local fishermen. The British officers and soldiers and the British government were deeply grateful for this. During his visit to the UK in 2015, President Xi Jinping, citing the rescue of British POWs on the vessel "Lisbon Maru", stressed that the Chinese and British peoples forged a never-fading friendship in the flames of war, which became precious wealth in bilateral relations. Days ago, Denise Wynn, daughter of Dennis Morley, the last survivor of the vessel "Lisbon Maru", sent a letter to President Xi Jinping, expressing her gratitude for China's rescue and her firm support for the ever-lasting friendship between the British and Chinese peoples.