Author: changabula

Chinese Role Models and Heroes [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-2-4 17:01:45 |Display all floors
Hunan hero saves 44 lives
Updated: 2008-02-03 10:09

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A local man has come to the aid of 44 people on a long distance bus that was stuck on the Hunan section of the Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway. He helped save their lives during a difficult time.

January 25th was a freezing cold night. This long distance bus became stuck on the expressway.

There were 44 passengers on the bus, most are women and children.

The situation became desperate.

Then, local resident Liu Jigui stepped in to help.

A bus driver said, "He broke the guardrail and guided us to his home. He is so kind to us."

For Liu Jigui, breaking the guardrail was the only way to help them escape an icy fate.

Local resident Liu Jigui said, "I arranged them to live in my home, and set the fire to warm them and cooked for them."

Liu got up five o'clock in the morning to buy fresh food. He also walk two kilometers to fetch water for them.

A bus driver said, "He is our hero. We will appreciate him for the rest of our lives."

Everyone on the bus is safe and in good condition, all thanks to the help of Liu Jigui.
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Post time 2008-2-26 07:20:35 |Display all floors
In China, a beacon of heroism
By Anne Wu
February 25, 2008

EARLIER this month, when China's worst snowstorms in more than 50 years hit the country just as millions were traveling long distances to join their families for the Lunar New Year, I did not relax in my American home until my parents landed in Shenzhen for a holiday reunion with my sister. They had been stranded for eight days by the heavy snow in Southern China.

more stories like thisThey, like tens of millions of Chinese affected by the snowstorms, showed the spirit of the Chinese people: resilience, crisis mobilization, self-sacrifice, and strong family values. Having lived in the United States for years exposed to the spirit of individual heroism exemplified by Superman and Spiderman in American culture, I rediscovered the collective heroism of the Chinese people. It was reassuring to see that spirit in China. Like many of my countrymen, I had worried that in China's market-oriented economy, materialism and individualism might have supplanted the spirit of traditional collectivism. Fortunately, that was not the case.

The Lunar New Year, also called the Spring Festival in China, is like Christmas, a holiday when people rush back for annual reunions with their families, and a time for one of the world's biggest mass movements of humanity. The vulnerability of China in such an unprecedented crisis was exposed: Roads and railways were blocked and power grids were damaged, causing a massive blackout and supplies shortage, and stranding tens of millions of travelers.

In facing the disaster, China lacked the well-established infrastructure, an adequate crisis management system, and well-trained disaster-relief professionals like in Western countries. Yet it was the ordinary people who made up for those deficiencies. The solidarity and cooperation of the Chinese people, which the government swiftly and effectively mobilized, restored the country to normal operations quickly. Some foreign observers exclaimed that another country affected by a disaster of the same scale would have been paralyzed.

More than 2 million soldiers, as well as militia, army reservists, and police officers, were deployed to remove snow and ice from the roads and help provide emergency supplies, including hot food and water, to stranded travelers. Employees of power and water plants worked under extremely dangerous conditions to maintain utilities and repair damaged transmission lines and transformer substations. Transportation workers raced to deliver relief materials to disaster-hit areas. Volunteers and Chinese overseas donated money and supplies through various charity channels.

The nation's leaders also became part of this collective heroism. Spending the holiday away from home, President Hu Jintao entered the Datangtashan coal mine to meet those who had worked overtime in temperatures of minus-4 degrees to increase coal supplies and boost power. Premier Wen Jiabao flew to Guangzhou and other cities to comfort stranded travelers, and he had New Year's Eve dinner with students stranded by the snowstorm at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics.

Many Chinese gave up their own reunion with families during the Spring Festival just to help tens of millions of others go home and enjoy the holiday.

No matter how long or how arduous the journey, Chinese people always struggle to find a way home during the New Year. For many of them, like the migrant worker, the single New Year's Eve dinner with families is the light at the end of the tunnel following a year of hard work. Such strong family ties explain the reason why, despite the long delay and all the inconveniences caused by the storms, people still waited tirelessly and hopefully in the stations. By understanding the importance of a family reunion one appreciates the sacrifice made by those who missed their own reunions to help others.

All the efforts paid off. By New Year's Eve, the majority of previously stranded travelers in all major transportation hubs, including the 800,000 passengers at the Guangzhou train station, had embarked on voyages home. Some foreigners commented on this as "magic." Water and electricity had been gradually restored in most of the heavily hit areas. Watching afar from across the Pacific Ocean, I felt touched by and proud of their spirit.

My parents said they realized they had been so spoiled by the improvement of life in China that they found the various inconveniences very difficult. It is good that the disaster reminded them and other Chinese people of their country's vulnerabilities as well as the spirit they possess to overcome them and strive for a better future.

Anne Wu is an associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. ... _beacon_of_heroism/
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Post time 2008-3-2 09:23:50 |Display all floors
Never too old to study
Updated: 2008-03-01 14:30

Liu Baofu, 64, a farmer, is attending primary school in Changxian, Chongqing municipality.

"I lost my way one day last year on my way to attend a county meeting. I did not know how to ask for directions or to use a telephone," Liu said.

He said his daughter encouraged him to go to school, and to his surprise, he was admitted.

The new school started last week, and Liu has already learnt to read 20 Chinese characters and use the telephone.

Other farmers in Liu's village want to follow his example, but unfortunately the school does not have sufficient places.

(Chongqing Evening News)
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Post time 2008-3-8 07:12:44 |Display all floors
Israel remembers 'China's Schindler'
By Li Xiaokun (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-09-28 07:09

The noble deeds of "China's Schindler" Fengshan Ho in Austria will never be forgotten, Israel's ambassador to China Amos Nadai said a day before the late diplomat's ashes will be buried in his hometown in Central China's Hunan Province.

Nadai will today join Ho's family, Jewish historians and other Jews saved by the Chinese diplomat in Yiyang, where Ho was born 106 years ago. He will present an Honorary Commemorative Citizenship certificate to Ho's family on behalf of the Israeli government.

"It's very important for the state of Israel, my country, to show that we respect and will never forget the people who helped us," Nadai told China Daily on Thursday.

Amos Nadai, Israel's ambassador to China. [China Daily]

"We have a very famous saying (in Jewish) that the person who saves even one life is looked upon by people as if he has saved the whole world. And Dr Ho saved many hundreds, we believe it was about two thousand."

From 1938 to 1940, Ho was the former Chinese consul general in Austria. He defied the Nazi threat and the warnings of the Chinese ambassador in Germany, his immediate superior, to issue more than 2,000 "life visas" to Jews to help them flee Vienna.

"During World War II, 6 million Jews were murdered. A lot of countries were looking, but most of them did nothing. China was among the very few countries willing to save the Jews," Nadai said.

"We do not blame the countries who did not help us, we do not judge other people, but we do very, very deeply admire those who came to (help) us."

More than 50,000 Jews are estimated to have fled Europe to China during the war. The Jewish community in Shanghai was the largest in the Far East at that time.

Ho neither sought nor got recognition for his deeds during his lifetime. It was only by chance that his heroic act came to light. That was in 1997 after his death.

Israel honored Ho with its highest award for non-Jews, the Righteous Among the Nations, in 2001. His name was carved on the Honor Wall of the Garden of the Righteous of Nations, with the inscription "a Chinese should never be forgotten".

Fengshan Ho's daughter Manli Ho told China Daily in a letter that she has often been asked why a Chinese diplomat saved Jews in Austria when others didn't.

She wrote: "He (Fengshan Ho) used to say: 'It was only natural to feel (for the helpless) and to help them. That is what humanity is all about. Now I have brought my father's ashes back for burial in China, fulfilling his wish to be laid to rest in his native soil. We have reached completion."

Director of the Bureau of Cultural Affairs of Yiyang Yuan Fengli said: "He is the honor of the people of Yiyang and of China."

Being involved in getting Ho's ashes back in 2006, Yuan was deeply impressed by the former diplomat's spirit. "The excellent Sino-Israeli relations we are enjoying today are partly due to what Ho did 70 years ago."

An exhibit on Ho, titled "Visas for Life", will open in Yiyang Museum and a high-level symposium will be held after today's ceremony.

A research center dedicated to his work, too, is under preparation.
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Post time 2008-4-3 14:45:58 |Display all floors
Top philanthropists donate $1.8b in 5 years
By Wang Ying (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-04-03 07:12

The country's top 100 philanthropists have given away 12.9 billion ($1.8 billion) since 2003, with education, social welfare and poverty reduction attracting the most donors, the Hurun Philanthropy List released Wednesday in Shanghai.

Twenty-seven donors each gave more than 100 million yuan this year, compared with 15 donors last year, stated the list, a ranking of the country's most generous individuals and into its fifth year.

Topping the list for the third year running is 86-year-old Yu Pengnian, a Shenzhen hotel and real estate entrepreneur, who has endowed his foundation with 3 billion yuan in the past five years to provide cataract operations.

Zhu Mengyi, also known as Chu Mang Yee, chairman of property developer Hopson Development Holdings Ltd, ranked second with a stock donation worth 1.1 billion yuan. Huang Rulun, chairman of the Jinyuan Hotel Group, came in third by giving away 850 million yuan since 2003.

Last year, the country's top 100 philanthropists had given 9.5 billion yuan in donations tracked since 2003, when Shanghai-based Hurun Report began compiling the list.

The report, which also compiles an annual list of the country's wealthiest people, found that 66 of the top 100 philanthropists also ranked in China's 100 wealthiest this year, up from 54 last year.

Yang Guoqiang, Xu Rongmao, Rong Zhijian and Xu Jiayin, who are among the top 10 richest people, also found themselves on the top 100 philanthropists list.

Hotelier Yu is the oldest donor on the list, while Ding Lei, chairman of Internet and online game company NetEase, and Xu Ming, chairman of chemical giant Shide Group, both aged 37, are the youngest philanthropists.

The average age of the philanthropists on the list is 52 this year. Five years ago, their average age was 48 years old.

Briton Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder and compiler of the Hurun Report, established the China Rich List with two students from Shanghai's Donghua University in 1999, publishing the first China Rich List in Forbes magazine.

"With a good policy environment including preferential policies in taxation and legislation, China saw further development in the charity cause last year," Hoogewerf said while releasing the report.

"More and more wealthy people are setting up their own charitable funds, and the whole of society have paid more attention to charity," said Hoogewerf, who is also a qualified chartered accountant. His list draws on a survey covering 2,500 entrepreneurs in the Chinese mainland. It also refers to news reports and data from various foundations.

The charity lists have created a favorable social environment for the development of the country's philanthropy sector, said Zheng Yuanchang, director with the social relief office of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

"The government also has a role in creating a social and taxation environment that promotes philanthropy," Zheng said.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs also plans to cooperate with several government departments to set up a national social donation information center, aimed at guaranteeing transparency in donations and their allocation, officials have said.

"Establishing such a system will not only encourage more people to be involved in social charity, but also enhance the reputation of China's philanthropy organizations," Zheng said.

Fairer regulations and faster administrative procedures must be ensured so that the rich do not face obstacles when giving away their money, he said.

Similarly, experts have asked for a better social and legal environment to promote giving by the wealthy, amid criticism that it often takes several months to seek a personal income tax deduction for donations.

Three-quarters of the money donated by the country's top 100 philanthropists were also channeled into foundations set up or monitored by the donors themselves, and experts have attributed the weak development of the sector to the lack of public confidence in various charity foundations.

Forbes last year also announced that it would cancel its China philanthropy list, "mainly due to the immaturity of the charity sector" and many rich people's "unwillingness to have their wealth disclosed and their names published".

Still, hotel entrepreneur Yu was one of the donors listed by Hurun that ran contrary to this view.

Yu, founder of Hong Kong Yu's Charitable Foundation and the Shenzhen Yu Pengnian Social Welfare Association, launched the nationwide Pengnian Brightness Action campaign in 2004, to provide free operations for up to 150,000 cataract sufferers in poor areas over a five-year period.

The campaign has reportedly provided free cataract surgery to more than 100,000 people so far.

Yu also recently directed his property projects in Shenzhen and Hong Kong towards his charities' causes.
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Post time 2008-4-3 15:17:06 |Display all floors

The truth will out

Originally posted by gotohell at 2008-3-8 07:12
Fengshan Ho's daughter Manli Ho told China Daily in a letter...

A very touching and endearing story.

However, am I the only one that is not surprised that Chang sees a 'Manli Ho' as one of his personal heroes?

[ Last edited by boring at 2008-4-3 04:07 PM ]

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Post time 2008-4-13 00:33:22 |Display all floors
Jin Jing

Paralympic athlete protects torch
By Chen Bei (
Updated: 2008-04-09 18:40

"Keep smiling," the girl in wheelchair told herself despite the risk of Tibetan separatists trying to grab the Olympic torch.

Torchbearer Jin Jing, a physically challenged athlete, moved netizens as she protected the torch in her arms to resist violent protestors' disruptions during the Beijing Olympic torch relay in Paris on April 7.

Jin was designated to relay the torch along the Seine River, a kilometer away from the originally planned route due to the aggressiveness of the Tibetan separatists. ... content_6603977.htm

A protestor (R) tries to grab Olympic torch from Jin Jing, a Paralympian torchbearer in wheelchair, during the torch relay in Paris in April 7, 2008. Jin, who lost a leg because of tumour at age of nine, tries to protect the flame with her body while the man behind the wheelchair, also a Paralympian who lost his eysight, found it very hard to fend off assaults during the relay. []

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