In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, has adopted the decision to confer national medals and honorary titles on 42 outstanding individuals for their contributions to the PRC on September 17. Among the awardees, two women were honored with the Medal of the Republic and six were granted national honorary titles. The awardees have made great contributions to China's economy, society, national defense, diplomacy, education, technology, culture and other important areas.
|The winners of National Medals and Honorary Titles|
The winners were interviewed after the results were made public. They expressed their deep love for China, their feelings about the great changes that have occurred in the past 70 years, and their determination to better serve the country and the people.
Shen Jilan: Following the CPC Forever
|Shen Jilan is China's longest-serving lawmaker. She is the only deputy to serve at all 13 NPCs since 1954. She was 25 years old when she started and turns 90 this year.|
"Last year, I was awarded the title of 'Pioneer of Reform.' Now, I've been granted the Medal of the Republic. I'm so grateful for this honor because it means the CPC has recognized my hard work," said Shen.
"Xigou Village has developed rapidly under the leadership of the CPC. In our village, people live good lives; people older than 70 can have lunch for free and receive an old-age pension; young people studying in university are eligible for subsidies from the village government. The CPC's rural revitalization strategy has helped us to build Xigou into a green, industrial, tourist-friendly and modern village," Shen added.
Tu Youyou: 'It is My Responsibility to Build a Healthy China'
|Tu Youyou, 89, is dedicated to medical research and hopes to find a cure for malaria. She has saved the lives of millions and is the first Chinese woman to win the Nobel Prize. She solved the problem of inadequate anti-malarial treatment and made important contributions to scientific and technological innovations in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and human health.|
"It's my responsibility to build a healthy China. I'm proud to receive such an important national honor as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People' Republic of China," said Tu.
"My team members and I have been dedicated to finding a cure for malaria using TCM for more than 60 years. Whether or not we make scientific breakthroughs or win awards, we are eternally grateful for the CPC and the nation as a whole, which has given us the chance to use our talents and realize our dreams," Tu said.
Yu Yi: Doing Her Duty as a Teacher
|Yu Yi, 90, has long been devoted to teaching at Chinese middle schools. She advocated for innovation in both educational thought and teaching practices and has written many educational works, several of which were adopted by education departments in China.|
"I'm an ordinary primary school teacher. I think the essence of education is educating people. Teachers should focus on the present and teach every student to the best of their ability. Educators should have a Chinese standpoint, a global view and crisis consciousness and value every student equally," Yu said.
Guo Lanying: 'Singing for My Country and People'
|Guo Lanying, 89, is an opera singer and vocalist who has made great contributions to music and music education in China. As a singer and performer, she is well-known for her popular songs and the vivid characters she portrays. As a vocal artist and music educator, she helped establish the folk opera performance system and helped develop traditional Chinese vocal arts.|
"I am 90 years old and the country has given me such an amazing honor. I have always sung for my country and people and will continue to do so in the future. I was so proud of China when I sang the song My Motherland for the first time in 1956," Guo said.
Burumahan Maoleduo: Engraving Characters for China on Border Stones
|Burumahan Maoleduo, 77, a border guardian of the Jigen Township in Wuqia County, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has patrolled the border for 50 years. She has to walk at least 20 kilometers every day to patrol the border, which sits at an average altitude of over 4,000 meters. Some stones found at the border, bearing on one side the Chinese characters "中国" (China), hand-engraved by Burumahan, have become a symbol of patriotism for locals.|
As a border guardian, Burumahan has been engraving the Chinese characters "中国" on stones for more than 50 years.
"In 1964, my husband and I came here for the first time, and we became members of the first group of border guardians. In the past, I spent several hours riding a donkey to the border. Now, it takes less than an hour by car. I'm getting old, and the stones engraved with 'motherland in my heart' are still hard. I've lost count of how many stones I've engraved over the years. I'm proud of our country and of being a Chinese person," said Burumahan.
"I'm just doing my duty as a border guardian, but our country has seen fit to confer me with this great honorary title. I feel honored and grateful. My family will love their country and maintain the tradition of patrolling the border. We will always be grateful to the Party and follow it wherever it goes," Burumahan continued.
Duguimaa: Perfectly Fulfilling Tasks Assigned by Country
|Duguimaa became a mother at 19 when she adopted 28 orphans from Shanghai in the early 60s, when southern China suffered a period of natural disasters. To care for the orphans, she taught herself to become an obstetrician and helped countless young mothers deliver babies at a time when there was little medical equipment available. She has received honors for her devotion from the regional women's federation and the publicity department.|
"I'm grateful that our country conferred me this honorary title as we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The Party and Chinese Government care for me," Duguimaa said.
"Raising children and helping women give birth were the tasks assigned by the country when I was only 19. It was my duty as a Chinese person. I worked day and night in those years to help the children grow up healthy. It is also my fondest memory of which I am most proud," Duguimaa continued.
Fan Jinshi: Protecting National Treasure
|Fan Jinshi, 81, is an archaeologist who has devoted herself to research and study in Dunhuang, Northwest China's Gansu Province. She is an explorer and guardian of Dunhuang's cultural relics. Based in the desert regions, she established a chronological catalog of the Mogao Grottoes, which facilitated the scientific protection of the ancient formations.|
"The Mogao Grottoes have received a lot of attention from the Party and the country since the establishment of the People's Republic of China. The protection and research of the Mogao Grottoes should be passed through the generations as part of the inheritance and development of China's cultural heritage and the source of our national culture self-confidence. Members of the Dunhuang Academy are responsible for guarding the Mogao Grottoes, the treasure of the Chinese nation. The honorary title conferred to me not only belongs to me, but my predecessors and colleagues who contribute to the Mogao Grottoes," Fan said.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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