Lei Feng’s legacy twisted through biased commentaries

By Su Tan Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-6 0:13:02

The People's Liberation Army Daily on Thursday criticized an array of groups that have used multiple means to question the authenticity of Lei Feng, a Chinese soldier who has been made a role model, and defame his merits. March 5 is designated as "Learning from Lei Feng Day."

This article pointed out that many Lei Feng defamers work for "Western hostile forces that aim at overturning the Chinese government by peaceful revolution." Western media have ingrained ideological bias toward China and some people blindly buy every word that vilifies the Chinese government and the ruling Party.

Former leader Mao Zedong called for the whole nation to learn the "Lei Feng spirit" in 1963, one year after the soldier died at the age of 22.

Generations of Chinese then recognized the soldier as an icon and tried to learn from Lei Feng's selflessness, dedication and loyalty. This lasting trend has led China to where it is now.

In this context, Lei Feng's nobleness carries much significance for this country. Any attempt to repudiate it is in fact to shake the social foundations of China.

What matters is not how the West views Lei Feng, but in what ways we can use his merits to continue to improve the moral level of our society.

Nowadays, with wide access to information, some people fully believe what the Western media says about China and oppose whatever the Chinese government advocates just for the sake of opposing. They disregard what Lei Feng's traits can mean to society.

Today, Lei Feng has become a moral icon with little political implications. However, those trying to defame Lei Feng intend to wipe out his potential social effects with politically intended attacks.

Chinese people have long admired traditional merits such as altruism and love for others. No one ever questions whether these merits should be advocated. Why should Lei Feng's noble traits be an exception?

The image of Lei Feng was built against a certain historical context and the public is able to identify and tolerate the historical elements. In the meantime, if approaches that are more flexible and can be better accepted by the public are adopted to publicize Lei Feng and his good deeds, there will be more people willing to learn from Lei Feng while shrugging off rumors or slander against the figure.

Posted in: Observer

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