The visiting Kuomintang (KMT) delegation headed by Chiang Pin-kung, the party's vice president, paid their respects at the imposing Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, on Wednesday morning.
They read a message saying they were there to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Sun's death on behalf of the KMT president, Lien Chan, and all the party's membership, and Chiang later told Xinhua he had been extremely moved by the event.
The KMT, or Nationalist Party of China, delegation is the first to visit the mainland in 56 years, and Chiang added that people on both sides of the Straits should learn from Sun in resolving present day issues.
They were greeted by local residents at the mausoleum at 8:40 AM and held a service in the Memorial Hall, placing a floral tribute in front of the statue of the Chinese revolutionary before reading their memorial message.
It recalled Sun's tremendous contribution to overthrowing the monarchy, founding the Republic, wiping out warlords, resisting foreign powers, and coordinating actions by different forces in the south and the north of China.
After the reading, they made three bows and observed a minute's silence.
On March 12, 1925, Sun died of illness in Beijing and, in 1929, the mausoleum was built at his behest. A grand ceremony was held to inter his remains there and since 1949, the government has ensured its protection and maintenance.
(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2005)