Beijing street preserves memory of heroic WWII general

This street, located about four kilometers west of Tian’anmen Square, is one of the few roads in Beijing named after a person.

It’s called Tonglinge Street. And just this past weekend, a bronze sculpture was established at the northern end of it, in memory of its namesake, Tong Linge.

Tong was a commander leading the Chinese army to fight Japanese soldiers, when they assaulted Lugou Bridge in the west of Beijing on July 7, 1937.

The Lugou incident marked the start of China’s war against Japanese aggression, an 8-year conflict which was part of the Asian frontier of WWII.

And Tong was the first high-ranking Chinese officer to die in World War II.

“From the perspective of the Chinese nation, anti-Japanese forces led by both the Communist Party and Kuomingtang made tremendous sacrifice. It’s their sacrifice that brought about peace of modern China, so that China can stand up in the world, and are no longer fearful of aggression by any other country.”

The 1.9 meter sculpture depicts a pocket watch, one of the two effects left by Tong Linge.

It reads the time of his death and its chain has 77 rings, representing the day and month he fell in battle.

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