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China marks journalists killed in premier murder plot 50 years ago
www.chinaview.cn 2005-04-11 20:00:05

    BEIJING, April 11 (Xinhuanet) -- China's national news agency Xinhua Monday hosted a symposium to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the "Kashmir Princess" incident, in which three Xinhua journalists were killed in a failed attempt to murder then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai by agents of Taiwan.

    On April 11, 1955, a chartered Air-India plane named the "Kashmir Princess" heading for Bandung, Indonesia from Hong Kong exploded over the Pacific Ocean, killing all 11 passengers and five of the eight crew members on board.

    "Among them were three excellent journalists of Xinhua, namely Shen Jiantu, Huang Zuomei and Li Ping," recalled Tian Congming, Xinhua president at the Monday symposium. "Shen, who died at the age of 40, was the eldest, while Li was only 26."

    Tian went on to note that over the past 74 years since the founding of Xinhua, more than 150 journalists and staff members ofthe news agency had sacrificed their lives for performing their duties.

    "They have made great contributions to the Chinese people," said Tian, adding that the journalists of Xinhua, for one generation after another, had "endured severe tests" and "made tremendous sacrifices" since the agency's birth in the early 1930s.

    He also mentioned Shao Yunhuan, the agency's latest martyr who was killed in a NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia in 1999.

    Declassified documents showed that the explosion of the "Kashmir Princess" 50 years ago was caused by a time-bomb planted on the plane by the Taiwan secret service, in an apparent attempt to assassinate Premier Zhou. However, Zhou, who had planned to take the plane to attend the Bandung Conference in Indonesia, was forced to change his schedule due to an operation of appendicitis excision and thus had a narrow escape.

    Eleven passengers on board, including three staff members of the Chinese delegation to the Bandung Conference and five Chinese journalists, one staff member of the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, one journalist from Poland and one journalist from Austria, died as the explosion led to a fatal plane crash.

    This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. Sources with China's Foreign Ministry said a series of activities would be held to mark the Conference, convened from April 18 to 24 with participants from 29 Asian and African countries.

    The Conference was regarded as the first of its kind to be organized independently by the Asian and African developing countries without any involvement of the western colonialist nations. Enditem

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