Chinese netizens pay tribute to Top 10 People Who Moved China in 2020 including participants in fight against COVID-19
Published: Feb 18, 2021 08:02 PM

Zhang Dingyu heads to the wards at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

The annual list of the Top 10 People Who Moved China in 2020 was published during an award ceremony on China Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday. The list included heroes who took part in the fight against COVID-19 and the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53). Chinese netizens paid tribute to these people on social media.

Since 2002, the annual list has been composed through voting by Chinese netizens, who are tasked with finding examples of people who made huge contributions to promoting social progress and were recognized by the public that year.

The new list commended the contributions of 10 people who rose to fame on the internet in 2020 such as Zhang Dingyu, head of Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan; Zhang Guimei, the female principle of the Chinese mainland's first tuition-free high school for girls; Chinese People's Volunteer Army war hero Wang Hai, as well as classical Chinese poetry scholar Ye Jiaying.

Other role models also made the list, like deliveryman Wang Yong, who volunteered his time to transport medical workers to and from home and work during the Wuhan lockdown in February 2020.

The hashtag for the list had earned more than 200 million views on Sina Weibo as of Thursday afternoon.

Zhang Dingyu, who has been awarded the national honorary title "the People's Hero," concealed the fact he was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease and insisted on working on the frontlines during the outbreak of the pandemic in China. He was given the nickname "Superman President" by his hospital colleagues.

The summary for the listing for Zhang said, "You raced against time to win every second for patients even though you walked unsteadily. You stood between death and your patients and built a new Great Wall for them with your body."

"We found you in blossoming flowers. You are singing even though nature threw wind and snow at you. Although fortune forced you to the edge of a cliff, you returned a sweet fragrance to others," read the listing summary for Zhang Guimei said.

The principal fought to end poverty in rural areas in Southwest China's Yunnan Province and in 2008 built a high school for poor girls who could not afford school. Since then, Zhang has helped more than 1,600 girls from mountainous areas move on to university, but at the cost of her own health. To date, she has been diagnosed with more than 10 kinds of chronic diseases.

"When Zhang stepped in front of the camera at the award ceremony, I couldn't help but burst into tears. She looks old and tired, and her hands are fully covered with bandages. She has contributed everything to her students and education in rural areas," Wan Fang, a member of the audience at the award ceremony, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The 97-year-old scholar Ye Jiaying devoted herself to carrying forward classic Chinese poetry while teaching at universities in China as well as the US and Canada.

Chinese netizens grew familiar with her through the biography film Like the Dyer's Hand, which was released in October.

"I respect Ye because she is the embodiment of ancient Chinese poets in the present era," another attendee of the award ceremony told the Global Times. 

Global Times

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