China’s everyday heroes take their lead from the CPC
The front page of the Beijing Daily today features the pictures of three people who have recently committed acts of heroism in China. The headline: “Learn from the most beautiful Chinese people – a model of our generation!” These three include:
1) The “most beautiful teacher”: Zhang Lili (张丽莉), a teacher at Middle School #19 in Jiamusi City, Helongjiang province, who dove in front of a fast-moving bus to protect her students from being hit. The students were saved, but the bus ran over her legs, crushing them. She is now a double amputee.
2) The “most beautiful driver”: Wu Bin (吴斌), a 48-year-old bus driver from Hangzhou, who was driving a bus back from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, when a piece of metal flew through the windshield and hit him in the stomach and arm, breaking three ribs and puncturing his liver. He was able to calmly steer the bus to safety and save the lives of all 24 passengers. He died from his wounds two days later.
3) The “most beautiful warrior”: Gao Tiecheng (高铁成), an Beijing Garrison soldier who ran into a gas explosion three times to save people. He is currently recovering from second-degree burns on his head, face, neck, upper limbs and right foot.
The article explains that, since the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002 (when Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao and the current leadership group assumed their positions), civic morality has been steadily on the rise. Now the moral standards of Chinese society are higher than ever, and it has given rise to a large number of people who are highly advanced morally. Their deeds and moral character are rooted in the strong moral heritage of the Chinese nation and enhanced by the practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is a true portrayal of the ideological and moral underpinnings of Chinese society, which operates in the spirit of Lei Feng’s heritage. This is a major victory for the 16th CPC National Congress, in creating a good social atmosphere and cultivating civic morality.
Lei Feng was a Mao era soldier who was held up as a selfless and modest person and posthumously became the subject of a massive propaganda campaign: “Learn from Comrade Lei Feng” (向雷锋同志学习). He is often hauled out as the exemplar of old fashioned socialist morality for various propaganda campaigns, the most recent of which was in March of this year. For more information on Lei Feng in his more recent incarnations, follow the Danwei link below.
China has a long tradition of awarding the title, “model worker” to people considered to represent hard work and selflessness among the working class.
The article’s headline was printed in red. Red headlines are usually reserved for news about Party events such as meetings of the People’s Congress and major holidays and important anniversaries such as the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic and the annual Spring Festival.
Links and Sources
Beijing Daily: 向最美的中国人——时代楷模学习; 最美司机吴斌 ; 最美战士高铁成 ; 最美教师张丽莉
Danwei: Lei Feng in the age of the microblog
Wikipedia: Lei Feng
China Daily: ‘Model Workers’ receive honors in Beijing
Sinica Podcast: Morally Adrift?