President Xi confers top honors on 4 heroes for outstanding contribution in COVID-19 fight
Published: Sep 08, 2020 10:19 AM


President Xi Jinping on Tuesday morning presented a national medal and honorary titles to four people for their outstanding contribution to fighting the COVID-19 epidemic.

Tuesday's commending of role models and heroes who fought in China's phased victory against the deadly coronavirus reflects the country's perseverance and its will to win even when faced with a complicated situation at home and a crackdown by hegemonic powers abroad, analysts said.  

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presented medals to the four outstanding individuals, and delivered a speech at the ceremony. 

Xi signed a presidential order on August 11 to confer the Medal of the Republic, the highest national honor, on renowned respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan. The medal was first awarded last year ahead of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.


Zhong and other representatives entered the Great Hall of the People in vehicles escorted by national guards. They passed through streets filled with cheering crowds.

Zhong, who is a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of the National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, is widely praised and respected for delivering timely information on the latest epidemic situation and leading the formulation of diagnosis and treatment guidelines.

The order also awards national honorary titles to three other experts for their contribution to fighting the COVID-19. They are Zhang Boli, a traditional Chinese medicine expert, who presided over the research of the COVID-19 treatment scheme combining traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine, Zhang Dingyu, head of an infectious disease hospital in Wuhan, and military medical expert Chen Wei who made major achievements in COVID-19-related basic research and development of vaccine and protective medicine.


Along with Zhong, medical staff, police, deliverymen, sanitation workers, volunteers... some 2,000 representatives in fight against COVID-19 wearing large red flowers on their chests were also among those to be awarded.

The ceremony is a recognition of the effort of every Chinese in the battle against the novel coronavirus as well as the fact that China has achieved a phased victory, Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), told the Global Times.

The epidemiologist also said that when the world is upended by the pandemic, China's victory over it injected much needed confidence in its people, as the country is facing complicated pressure at home and abroad. 

Experts also said that China, which first reported coronavirus, has provided a satisfactory answer sheet for the world to see, as the country's schools have reopened and travel has resumed. "The individuals who were honored are problem solvers who gave the world confidence through their experience and methods and solutions that helped defeat the virus," said Wang Guangfa, a leading Chinese respiratory expert at Peking University First Hospital in Beijing.

Chen Jingyu, a renowned lung transplant expert and deputy head of the Wuxi People's Hospital, who was also invited to the ceremony for his outstanding contribution to the field of lung transplantation among COVID-19 patients, told the Global Times that the pandemic has given peers abroad a glimpse into China's advanced organ transplantation technology, and allowed them to see China's leading medical practices, which makes him very proud.