CHINA / POLITICS
Carrier-based jet pilot, taikonaut, pioneers in COVID-19 fight among national ethical role models
Published: Nov 06, 2021 02:37 PM Updated: Nov 07, 2021 09:31 AM
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, meets with national ethical role models and nomination awards winners at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 5, 2021.(Photo; Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, meets with national ethical role models and nomination awards winners at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 5, 2021.(Photo; Xinhua)


 
China honored 68 national ethical role models and 254 pioneers in a biennial campaign on Friday. Familiar names, including China-India border defense heroes, a carrier-based fighter jet pilot, and a legendary principal of a free school for girls, have struck a chord among the public as people unite in spirit on the development and national rejuvenation path. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, met with representatives of the role models and pioneers and extended his greetings. 

The honor started in 2007 and is held every two years. The 322 candidates this year come from all walks of life. They were recognized for their outstanding experiences in helping other people, acting bravely for a just cause, being honest, devotion to work or showing filial piety and love for their family.

Among the role models, the five who touched Chinese people's hearts most were Qi Fabao, Chen Hongjun, Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan, and Wang Zhuoran, who defended Chinese territories at the Galwan Valley during the China-India border clash last year (the latter four sacrificed their lives during the skirmish). Whenever their names appear in media reports or are discussed in public, their sincere love for the nation always moves people and becomes the epitome of patriotic sentiments. 

Dai Mingmeng, who is one of the 68 models, is the first J-15 pilot to have conducted a successful take-off and landing on China's first aircraft carrier the Liaoning. During his more than three decades of military service, Dai has piloted 16 types of aircrafts and is one of China's first test pilots of carrier-based aircraft. 

Wang Yong, a deliveryman who volunteered to transport medical workers to and from home and work during the Wuhan lockdown in February 2020, was chosen as a role model in fulfilling duties. 

Two other role models honored for their performances in the fight against the COVID-19 included Zhang Dingyu, who concealed the fact he was suffering from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and insisted on working on the frontlines in Wuhan, and Zhang Boli, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) expert, who presided over the research of the COVID-19 treatment scheme combining TCM and Western medicine.

Jing Haipeng, an experienced taikonaut who is among China's first batch of astronauts and has flown on three successful manned space missions, was also selected as the role model. 

Zhang Guimei, the founder of China's first free high school for girls in a remote county in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, was another notable role model. Zhang spent decades to encourage rural girls to study hard and change their destinies. 

Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University, told the Global Times on Friday that the campaign of China's ethical role models has been gaining influence. This year's campaign has highlighted the national heroes who devoted their hard work or even lives to the country, which will further enhance national cohesion and consolidate people's love for the nation.  

Yang Xuedong, a professor of political science at Tsinghua University, said that this year's honor came amid the great challenge of COVID-19 and a complex external environment. They were not only awarded for their ethical deeds in different areas, but also for the spirit they represent — which has rich connotations and illuminates China's path forward. 

There are many common people like Wang Yong who shone when the time came, which proves that anyone can contribute to society, and with 1.4 billion small parts, the cause of national rejuvenation can be realized, experts said. 


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