Xi confers highest Party honor ahead of CPC centenary, ‘spirit to drive 2nd centenary goal’
Virtues to help Party create glory in 2nd 100 years
Published: Jun 29, 2021 09:48 PM
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, other Party and state leaders and recipients of the July 1 Medal pose for a group picture on Tuesday in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, other Party and state leaders and recipients of the July 1 Medal pose for a group picture on Tuesday in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

At a great historic moment of inheriting the past and forging ahead into the future, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee for the first time presented the highest honor in the Party to outstanding CPC members in different development phases of the country, with Chinese observers believing it is telling the world that the CPC with a spirit accumulated from hardships and achievements in the past century will lead the Chinese people to create more glory in the next 100 years despite rising hostility from the West. 

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, conferred the July 1 Medal on outstanding Party members at the Great Hall of the People Tuesday morning as the CPC marks its 100th anniversary this year.

The 29 awardees were from various fields, including war heroes, scientists, community workers, artists, diplomats, and pioneers in national unity, educators and police. Three of them passed away, including Chen Hongjun, a border defense hero who held his post in the plateau for 10 years and died safeguarding China's territorial integrity against Indian troop's provocation in the Galwan Valley in June 2020.

Among them, six fought to safeguard China's territorial integrity and sovereignty from the Chinese People's War of Liberation and the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, to the Sino-Vietnamese War and today's China-India border standoff, eight were from ethnic minority groups including Uygur, Tibetan and Manchu, four helped improve local people's life and contribute to China's efforts of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and winning the crucial battle against poverty and four were ordinary grassroots workers in traditional industries and local communities. 

Recipients of the July 1 Medal embody the Chinese Communists' quality and spirit of maintaining staunch faith, Xi said, noting maintaining staunch faith is to stay true to the original aspiration and dedicate everything, even their lives, to the cause of the Party and people, Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said in an important speech at the ceremony. 

Xi called on CPC members and officials to boldly advance toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country, as well as the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Chinese analysts said that these awardees represent the spirits of the CPC in China's various development phases, such as fearing no sacrifice and never surrendering to foreign pressure or invasion and upholding national unity.

Such virtues helped the CPC overcome hardships and forge glory in the past 100 years. They will surely continue to help the CPC create more glory in the second 100 years while leading the Chinese people to advance toward the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Outstanding members who fought in the New Democratic Revolution [1919 - 49] and helped the country to realize national independence and people's liberation revealed the CPC members' spirit of fearing no sacrifice, fighting bravely and never surrendering to foreign pressures or military invasions, Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times. 

And in building a modern socialist country, ordinary heroes from all walks of life and different ethnic groups united and used their own hands to work diligently to contribute to China's economic miracle and win the crucial battle against poverty. Despite difficulties, these  representatives  have forged ahead with determination and committed to innovation, Su said. 

The recipients include Ma Maojie, a heroine in the Yangtze River Crossing campaign during the War of Liberation [1946-49] who crossed the river six times under a hail of bullets and successfully sent three People's Liberation Army units through despite being shot in her arm. She did that when she was only 14.

Lu Yuanjiu, a major contributor to China's "Two Bombs and One Satellite" project, also received the honor. He studied abroad but decided to return to the motherland despite some difficulties.

Another recipient, Memetjan Wumer, is a leading model against religious extremist forces in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region who faced death threats for his outstanding work.

Zhang Guimei, who set up China's first free high school for girls from impoverished families and helped thousands of girls enter college, was among the 29 recipients. Zhang on behalf of the recipients said at the ceremony that she was just a normal teacher and what inspired her to do so was the original aspiration of a CPC member. 

Chinese people watched the live ceremony on Tuesday and were deeply moved by these heroes. Many on social media "paid tribute to these heroes and outstanding CPC members," and expressed wishes for the country's prosperity. Some said they could not hold back tears seeing these heroes and imagining what they have been through. 

Many young Chinese netizens who watched the ceremony also posted photos of their application letters to the Party or their Party emblem, saying that they "want to be lights," and the application letters were their lifetime promise made to the Party and Chinese people.

"When Headmaster Zhang Guimei walked into the Great Hall of the People, my tears suddenly began to fall when I saw her hands which were covered by bandage," a netizen posted on Weibo. 

She has been diagnosed with bronchitis, arthritis and hypertension as the arduous work has taken a toll on her health.

Yang Xiyu, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times that the ceremony served as a response to the West, which has been demonizing the CPC, stigmatizing China over the COVID-19 and hyping "genocide" rumors about Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. 

The deeply touching deeds of the 29 outstanding CPC members told the West who are CPC members and what CPC does, Yang said. 

The CPC has never surrendered to foreign political pressure, not when CPC was a small party and definitely not when the CPC has become the largest ruling party in the world with more than 91 million members, analysts said. 

Facing the West's pressure, Yang said that the most valuable experience from the past 100 years was to firmly concentrate our efforts on bettering our own affairs. 

"The best way to silence the enemy is to concentrate on our own affairs, and China's achievements will erase rumors and smear," Yang said. 




CPC continues to flourish

Song Luzheng, a research fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Tuesday that one of the secrets of the CPC's success even after 100 years is its insistence on the belief that the Party is for serving the people. 

China's democracy is people-oriented, while in the West, democracy is based on procedural elections. After decades of competition between the two types of governance, especially in the post COVID-19 era, we found that China's people-oriented democracy is far better than the procedural-based electoral democracy in the West, Song said. 

The strong ability to correct mistakes and respond to challenges flexibly was another secret for CPC to maintain vitality, Song said. 

In the process of development in the past 100 years, the CPC has faced numerous obstacles, such as the CPC not finding the right direction in the early days of the Long March and then the Cultural Revolution. But with strong ability to correct mistakes and respond flexibly, the CPC found the right path, Song noted. 

The CPC's vitality cannot be fostered without the influx of talent from all walks of life, Song noted, adding that the 29 awardees represent the exemplary role of CPC members, regardless of profession, ethnic group, gender or age.  

The great achievement that China has made under the leadership of CPC shows that the West's governing system is not the only choice and China's achievements offer the world more options on development paths which countries could borrow but not blindly follow, Chinese analysts said.