Beijing April 4 (Xinhua) : Chinese President Xi Jinping led other Chinese leaders on Saturday to attend a national mourning ceremony for COVID-19 victims.

At 10 a.m., Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng, and Wang Qishan stood in silence for three minutes in the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing. 

As they paid a silent tribute in front of the national flag, a white flower in their chests stood in stark contrast with their black suits. 

This is the first time that a major public health emergency has triggered nationwide mourning.

Since the implementation of the National Flag Law, China has held three national mournings to honor the victims of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, the 2010 Yushu earthquake, and the 2010 Gansu mudslide. 

Fourteen people who died fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in central China’s Hubei Province have been honored as martyrs, the highest honorary title which the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the country awards to citizens who bravely sacrificed their lives for the nation and the people.


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