BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong has met with family members of Glen Beneda, a late American Flying Tigers pilot, and James Whitehead, chairman of the Flying Tiger Historical Organization board.
Liu spoke highly of the contribution made by the Flying Tigers, a U.S. air squadron that helped the Chinese fight Japanese aggressors in World War II (WWII).
She expressed hope that Chinese and U.S. people could expand exchanges, so as to build a new type of major-country relationship featuring mutual respect and common prosperity.
During WWII, Beneda, then at the age of 18, was part of the Flying Tigers fighting Japanese aggressors in China. His fighter plane was shot down by the Japanese, but he was rescued by Chinese farmers and then sent for medical treatment in a Chinese army division.
This experience left Beneda with an unforgettable attachment to the Chinese people. In 2002, 2005 and 2010, he visited the village where he was saved. He died from a heart attack at the age of 86 soon after he returned to the United States in 2010.
A television series about Beneda and his rescue in 1944 will debut on Chinese TV soon. A documentary called Touching the Tigers on his story premiered in the United States in 2011.