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Chinese Role Models and Heroes [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2008-4-21 06:39:47 |Display all floors
Overseas Chinese demonstrate to support China and the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games, in Paris April 19, 2008. [Agencies]
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Post time 2008-5-12 16:40:53 |Display all floors
Heroism comes naturally to earthy policeman
By Huang Zhiling and Yu Dou (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-06 10:24

Suicide bombers and wild flood waters may sound scary to some, but to Zheng Yun, they mean just another day at the office.

Zheng Yun (right) and his colleagues track a criminal suspect. [Courtesy of Zheng Yun]

On April 29, the deputy chief of the Yibin county public security bureau in Sichuan province, won national fame when he, together with 63 young people, received the China Youth May 4th Medal from the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China and the All-China Youth Federation in Beijing.

The medal, the highest-ranking honor for Chinese youth from the league and federation, commends young people who have distinguished themselves in their fields.

Zheng, 39, won the medal because of his wit and bravery in tracking down criminal suspects and ensuring public security in his home county of Yibin, Wang Demin, chief of the Yibin county information office, said.

The mention of Zheng's name reminds most people in Yibin of how he spent nine hours subduing a criminal suspect who was carrying 20 kg of explosives to save more than 3,000 teachers and students. Or maybe how he smashed a gang that had trafficked 15 women from Yunnan province to Yibin, or perhaps how he saved two young people stranded in floods.

On the morning of Feb 7, 2007, a man with a gun and 20 kg of explosives entered Quexi High School and took the students and teachers hostage, saying he would kill them all with his bomb.

The man, Hou Ziyun, said he wanted the police to help him find his wife, Yang Daomei, who had left home in 2005 and had never returned.

"It was the first time I faced a criminal suspect loaded down with explosives," Zhang said.

Because Hou graduated from the school, Zheng talked with him and told him it was unfair for him to take the students of his alma mater hostage. Moved by Zheng's sincerity, Hou set free the three students he had tied to some trees after talking for seven hours - on condition the Zheng become the hostage.

Fearing Hou would ignite the explosives, Zheng's superior decided to shoot the man if the standoff were not resolved by nightfall.

Zheng talked with him about the trouble he had created for his family and the school for more than two hours. Finally, Hou agreed to desert the explosives and was subdued by police.

On April 28, 2005, 15 women from Yunnan province were taken to Yibin and sold to local farmers as wives for between 8,000 and 14,000 yuan ($1,142 and 2,000).

After investigating the case for two days and searching farmhouses and nearly 20 hotels, Zheng identified Zhang Taiping, a local, as the mastermind.

Zheng stayed in the hotel for a whole day, eating instant noodles and drinking mineral water, waiting for the suspect to show his face. He and his fellow police captured Zhang when he returned in the wee hours the next day.

Zhang confessed his crimes, allowing police to rescue all the abducted women.

On the morning of July 18, 2007, Yibin was flooded because of excessive rain. Luo Jian, an 11-year-old, and Yang Xiaoyao, a 13-year-old, were stranded on a rock in a village because by the raging waters.

Zheng was having his breakfast at the time he heard about the stranded students, but he rushed to the scene and swam out to the rock after two rescue workers had failed to take them ashore. More than 1,000 onlookers applauded Zheng after the two boys were safe.

Zheng has received many honors, including the title of Sichuan's 10 excellent young people, last year. He feels indebted to his family for his heroism.

Zheng grew up in the countryside and underwent many hardships as a child. Because of poverty, he had to join the army when he graduated from junior high school even though he was a top student, Yu Borong, his former teacher, said.

"I am better off, but often feel sorry for not being able to care for my parents," Zheng said.

When he was ambushing Zhang Taiping in the hotel, Zheng's wife called him more than 10 times. But Zheng did not dare to answer the calls although he felt something might be wrong with his family.

"Later, I was told my father was seriously ill and wanted to see me," he said.

His father, wife and son support his work, despite the many hours he must spend outside of his home.

"My son is proud of me. He often tells friends his dad captures bad guys," Zheng said
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Post time 2008-5-12 19:06:14 |Display all floors

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Post time 2008-5-31 05:05:34 |Display all floors
Premier Wen 10th top politician on Facebook
Updated: 2008-05-30 07:32

BEIJING -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, hugely popular at home for his relief efforts following the massive earthquake in Sichuan, has emerged as the 10th most popular politician on the Facebook social networking site.

His Facebook page says he had 20,136 supporters as of Tuesday, most of whom signed up after the earthquake that killed more than 68,000 people.

Wen flew to the site hours after the quake, clambering over shattered buildings and tearfully comforting weeping children.

Since becoming premier in 2003, "Grandpa Wen" has honed a role as a gently spoken man focused on solving the country's social ills.

He has spent Lunar New Year holidays down a coal mine and in an AIDS-stricken village, vowed to retrieve migrant workers' unpaid wages, and this year he flew into areas paralyzed by severe winter storms to take personal responsibility.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said he had not heard of the site when asked to comment at a regular news conference on Thursday.

"What you mentioned seems related to our quake relief efforts. I do hope the international community can have a better understanding of China through the unity and heroic acts of the Chinese people in battling the disaster," Qin said.

In the Facebook photo album called "Wenchuan Earthquake," Wen is seen in a black jacket, addressing a crowd in the quake zone.

"He is a good premier and should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize," a girl called Violette Qin from Switzerland wrote in a comment under the photo.

"He should be the role model for every politician ... Keep up the good work, the people need you," a man called Wilson Lee wrote.

There were more than 3,300 posts on Wen's Facebook Wall, some in Chinese, some in English.

"I do not know whether you really go to this page, I really want to tell you: Take care of yourself!" a post by Angel Chau read.


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Post time 2008-12-6 07:34:33 |Display all floors
China Honors Charitarians with President Meeting


Chinese President Hu Jintao met with domestic and foreign charity workers and groups on Friday ahead of a ceremony to honor their contributions.

During the meeting with the honorees, Hu expressed appreciation and respect to all domestic and foreign people and organizations that showed extraordinary dedication and commitment to Chinese charity affairs.

He said charity work in China has seen remarkable development in the wake of the country's reform and opening-up drive in the past three decades.

Hu noted that in dealing with the impact of the Sichuan earthquake this year, "charity groups across the country contributed to the largest fund-raising campaign in China's history.

The president told the audience that their contributions had played an important role in reconstruction work for the quake survivors, and that their actions had "touched and won respect from all Chinese."

Hu said charity work was a noble course to improve people's livelihood and promote social harmony, and urged people and organizations from home and abroad to continue to make contributions to China's charity work development.

Party and government departments at all levels must attach greater importance to charity work and mobilize more people to take part in philanthropy, he said.

Hu also called on charity groups to properly manage and use funds to help people in trouble and build a trustworthy reputation from their charity work.

Vice Premier Li Keqiang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, attended the meeting.

Vice Premier Hui Liangyu said at the ceremony that all members of society would take an interest in charity work and contribute to philanthropy in order to build a harmonious society.

China had a tradition of undertaking activities for the benefit of the general public, Hui said, adding that charity had been an important symbol of civilization.

He urged the government, social organizations and society to further strengthen cooperation in promoting charity in China.

Charity organizations should improve transparency in their operation and management to build the trust of society, he said.

During the ceremony, awards were given to 336 individuals, enterprises, organizations and charity programs at the Second China Charity Conference, hosted by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

After the devastating 8.0-magnitude quake on May 12 that killed about 69,000 people, Chinese and foreign donors contributed about 76.2 billion yuan (11 billion U.S. dollars) for relief and rehabilitation, according to the ministry.

In addition to reporting the figures for donations to the quake area, the ministry said on Friday that it would publish a detailed report on quake contributions, including how local governments would spend the money.

"The conference shows the government values the charity affairs, which is of vital importance to charity development, and to building a harmonious society," said Xu Yongguang, deputy director-general of the China Youth Development Foundation, who was honored on Friday.

The first conference was held in 2005. Before that, total donations to Chinese charities were no more than 10 billion yuan. But by this year, the figure had risen to almost 100 billion yuan, including 60 billion yuan for the quake alone, according to the ministry.

To boost charity and social welfare, the ministry in September set up a new department to deal with welfare lotteries, charitable activities, donations and welfare projects for the elderly, disabled and children.

"The May 12 earthquake aroused the public awareness of charitable work and altered the source of donation in China," the new department's director, Wang Zhenyao, said.

Domestic donations from individuals exceeded those from companies for the first time, Wang said.

According to the ministry, China has about 80 million disaster victims each year, as well as some 60 million disabled people in need of social assistance.
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Post time 2008-12-6 07:37:42 |Display all floors
Chinese Volunteerism Boosted in 2008


Li Shuo will never forget what she did this summer.

"I was part of the Olympics," the 20-year-old student from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine said.

Li was not an athlete taking part in the Games, but did what many would also think was equally meaningful - serving as a volunteer for her Olympic host city.

"I feel so lucky and proud to have been a part of such a historic event and it will probably be the most valuable chapter of my life," Li told China Daily Thursday, the eve of International Volunteer Day.

Li took part in the Olympic volunteer training program, working as a media shuttle bus assistant and helping journalists get around Games venues such as the Bird's Nest and Water Cube.
"I met a lot of people, improving my English and communication skills. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Li said.

She was among the 500,000 Olympic volunteers who helped the capital host the world's largest sporting event.

When 12 Olympic volunteer representatives received awards from the Olympic champions at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games, Chinese volunteers were said to have gained worldwide recognition for their devotion and professionalism during the Olympics and Paralympics.

The accolades themselves followed a wave of volunteerism after natural disasters such as the snowstorms at the beginning of the year and the May 12 Sichuan quake hit the country, when millions of Chinese countrywide took part in disaster relief.

Media reports have marked 2008 as a milestone in volunteerism in the country.

Nearly 30 million registered volunteers have so far provided more than 268 million cases of voluntary service in fields such as poverty relief, community work, environmental protection and major social events, figures from the volunteer department of Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL), the country's largest volunteer mobilizer, have shown.

About 1.7 million volunteers were involved in the Beijing Games this year alone, while 5 million volunteers took part in relief work for the May 12 Sichuan quake, CCYL volunteer department director Xu Xiao told China Daily yesterday.

"Volunteer work in China is in full blossom this year," Xu said.

"The work of the volunteers has been widely recognized and the concept of volunteerism has reached almost every corner of our society playing an active role in building up a harmonious society."

Still, Xu said passion for volunteer work has "cooled" after the Olympics.

"Volunteer work should become a part of our daily life, not just during major events or occasions," he said.

For Li and her friends, volunteerism was already a familiar concept before the Games.

She had set up a volunteer group in her freshman year, organizing regular activities at local orphanages and hospitals.

"I first learned about volunteerism through the media and as a college student, I really wanted to do something for society," Li said.

More than 400 fellow university students share her thoughts, with still more expressing interest in volunteer work after the May 12 quake. Ten students of Li's university had also driven to quake-hit regions to offer their services to help in quake relief.

"We young people are full of passion and idealism, and few care about any material benefits that come with volunteer work," Li said.

"Spiritual fulfillment and self-improvement are more important for us."

Li's enthusiasm for volunteer work is part of a long tradition of helping others in the country.

In 1945, Lei Feng, a People's Liberation Army soldier famous for helping others before he died in 1962, has become a model citizen. In one instance, Lei wore the same pair of socks for years, mending them when they were worn out, to save every penny he could for flood relief efforts.

Chairman Mao Zedong himself in 1963 called upon all Chinese to "Learn from Comrade Lei Feng".

In 1993, the CCYL extended a nationwide campaign to promote volunteerism and built up the necessary networks to support volunteer work on a large scale.

There are currently about 75 million CCYL members aged from 14 to 28, half of them students and under nearly 3 million grassroots units, CCYL figures have showed.

More than 2,000 university associations and 190,000 grassroots units are now covered under the Chinese Young Volunteers Association.

The country's opening-up policy and rapid economic development is also said to have helped an increasing number of non-government organizations (NGOs), community groups and members of the private sector working with the government agencies on volunteer projects.

"We must strengthen the cooperation and exchange with these organizations," CCYL volunteer director Xu Xiao said.

"These international groups have advanced management experience and we should learn from them."

Saving the Children, an international NGO helping needy children, has been working in China since the late 1980s, spreading the word of volunteerism through its projects.

"At first, few people had an idea of volunteer work and did not understand what we were doing," said Jiang Min, a project manager at the NGO's Kunming branch.

Jiang and her colleagues organized lectures, trainings and activities to explain their programs. Now the branch has up to 60 volunteers, including college students, retirees and professionals.

But many people still find it difficult to get access to volunteer associations in China.

"There are not many options for us," medical student Li said. She failed to apply for the Red Cross volunteer program because the requirements were too high, she said.

"Actually, I only know of a few NGOs in China and have no idea where to find them."

Li Yahui, the media manager for Saving the Children China, suggested that people who were interested in volunteer work should visit their related websites.

"We seldom do media campaigns but we will put out recruitment ads online," she said.

Members of the community should play more active roles in organizing volunteer work, CCYL's volunteer director Xu Xiao said.

"We are trying to make volunteer work more accessible for everyone," Xu said.
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Post time 2009-1-10 07:15:43 |Display all floors
China presents top awards to outstanding scientists

China's 2008 State Top Scientific and Technological Awards on Friday went to neurologist Wang Zhongcheng and chemist Xu Guangxian for their outstanding contributions to technological innovation.

President Hu Jintao presented the two 5-million-yuan (730,000 U.S. dollars) awards to the scientists at the Great Hall of the People.

Premier Wen Jiabao said in a keynote speech that scientific and technological strength decided the country's destiny and its modernization would depend on the development of science and technology.

Wen said knowledge and technology were important factors in sustainable development, especially during the present global financial crisis.

He urged science and technology workers to help businesses and rural areas to speed up development and become productive. They should help improve management, develop new products and technologies, and actively involve themselves in economic development.

Wang Zhongcheng, 83, a native of east China's Shandong Province, is a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of the Neurosurgery Science Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

Xu Guangxian, 89, a native of east China's Zhejiang Province, is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former president of the Chinese Chemical Society.

Hu Xiaojun, vice-director of the State S&T Award Office under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said the 2008 awards recognized the awardees' foundational achievements and created a pro-innovation environment.

Foundational innovation was considered a common highlight of winning projects this year. The 2008 Awards for technological invention and for scientific and technological progress won 840 invention patents in total.

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway project received a State Special Award for Scientific and Technological Progress. The Experimental Advanced Super-conducting Tokamak (EAST) nuclear fusion reactor project and 25 other scientific achievements shared the first prize for scientific and technological progress.

Two farmers who specialize in seed development were among the winners. Shen Tianmin, a wheat-breeding farm expert from central China's Henan Province, and Zhai Yanju, a corn-breeding farm expert from east China's Shandong Province, shared the second prize for scientific and technological progress.

The ceremony was jointly held by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (C) poses with chemist Xu Guangxian (L) and neurologist Wang Zhongcheng (R), winners of China's 2008 State Top Scientific and Technological Awards, during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, January 9, 2009. [Xinhua]
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