Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Guningtou veteran recalls historic fight against China

Guningtou veteran recalls historic fight against China

Taipei, Oct. 22 (CNA) A Taiwanese veteran recalled the Battle of Guningtou of decades ago Wednesday as he returned to the battlefield for a series of commemorative events marking the 65th anniversary of the conflict, a major victory against communist China that contributed to the survival of the Republic of China. Hsiung Chen-chiu, a solider who fired the first shell to fend off the Chinese communists in 1949, shared his memories of the fight. The shell he fired was seen as the beginning of the 56-hour battle. The battle began when Hsiung and his brothers in arms noticed the opposing Chinese communists, who had set off from the Chinese city of Xiamen in an attempt to make a beach landing on Kinmen, the 84-year-old told the media. He was attending a ceremony at the Taiwu military graveyard to pay respects to those who sacrificed their lives in cross-Taiwan Strait battles to protect the country. "They did not take a break, and neither did we," Hsiung said while recalling their fight against China and describing it as a successful battle. On Oct. 25, 1949, communist forces set off from the Chinese city of Xiamen to launch an attack on Kinmen just a few kilometers away as a planned first step in an invasion of the main island of Taiwan. In a 56-hour battle, ROC troops were able to score a resounding victory over the communist forces. This was seen as a significant victory for the ROC in setting a foundation from which it not only safeguarded Kinmen but also the Penghu Islands and Taiwan proper in the following decades. Although the Guningtou battle saw victory for the ROC troops, about 1,200 servicemen on the ROC side sacrificed their lives. Speaking about his feelings about attending the commemorative events in Kinmen, Hsiung said that "I feel sorry for those who were buried and left behind." Other events that same day included a ceremony at a military base of the Kinmen Defense Command, where President Ma Ying-jeou gave a talk emphasizing the importance of cross-strait peace. Both sides of the strait will walk toward a path of mutual prosperity, Ma said. The president, other government officials and Battle of Guningtou participants also attended a ceremony aimed at stressing the importance of peace, where the president was set to ring a ceremonial bell at the peace memorial park on Kinmen, which is located on the former battlefield of the Battle of Guningtou, the Ministry of National Defense said. (By Elaine Hou)