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The First Chinese Laborers Abroad Memorial Statue In First World War Was Completed In France.
- Oct 04, 2018 -

On September 20, France's first World War I Chinese worker memorial statue was officially completed in front of the Lyon Railway Station in downtown Paris.

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With the falling of red silk, a bronze statue of up to 2.63 meters is displayed in front of people. This work by Li Xiaochao, a sculptor from Shandong Province, co-sponsored by eight friendly organizations of China and France, reproduces the image of a friendly, honest and industrious Chinese worker, and vividly depicts the situation when the Chinese worker crossed the ocean and arrived at the Lyon railway station in Paris north of Marseilles. The unveiling of the statue attracted many tourists visiting here.


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ROPEL: We put this statue up here, 400,000 times a day, and it will subtly attract French, even Europeans, and tourists from other countries to pay attention to this important history.


From August 1916 to February 1918, about 140,000 Chinese laborers from Shandong, Hebei, Zhejiang and other places were recruited by Britain and France to undertake field logistics. At least 20,000 of them died in other places. Although most of the surviving workers returned to China after the armistice, thousands of Chinese workers recruited by the French remained, and the neighborhood near Lyon Railway Station became a place for many. But in French society, this history is not well known. It has not been until the last twenty years that the testimony of the early Sino French contacts has been more exposed.


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Chen Wenxiong, Chairman of the Friendship Group in the Law of the National Assembly of France: We have seen an increasing number of activities with this history as the theme. Some district governments in Paris have broadcast documentaries reminiscent of this history, and we have done so in the National Assembly. I believe that more and more members of Parliament have learned about this history, and several members of Parliament have come to the scene of this event. I will continue to do my work well, hoping to tell this story to future generations.