By Global Times
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, conferred the July 1 Medal, for the first time, on outstanding Party members at a ceremony held in the Great Hall of the People Tuesday morning as the CPC marks its 100th founding anniversary this year.
Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered an important speech at the ceremony.
Recipients of the July 1 Medal embody the Chinese Communists’ quality and spirit of maintaining staunch faith, Xi said, noting maintaining staunch faith is to stay true to the original aspiration and dedicate everything, even the precious life, to the cause of the Party and people.
The July 1 Medal recipients come from the people and are rooted in the people, and the recipients are ordinary heroes that fulfill their duties and make quiet contributions. Their deeds can be followed and their spirit can be pursued, Xi said.
Xi called on CPC members and officials to boldly advance toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country, as well as the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
The 29 outstanding Party members honored were from several fields, including war heroes, scientists, community workers, artists, diplomats, pioneers in national unity, educators and police. Three of them passed away, including Chen Hongjun, a border defense hero who held his post in the plateau for 10 years and died safeguarding China’s territorial integrity against Indian troop’s provocation in the Galwan Valley in June 2020.
Zhang Guimei, who set up China’s first free high school for girls from impoverished families and helped thousands of girls enter university, was among the 29 recipients. Zhang on behalf of the recipients said at the ceremony that she was just a normal teacher and what inspired her to do so was the original aspiration of a CPC member.
The recipients include Ma Maojie, a heroine in the Yangtze River Crossing campaign during the War of Liberation (1946-49) who crossed the river six times under a hail of bullets and successfully sent three People’s Liberation Army units through despite being shot in her arm. She did that when she was only 14.
Wang Shumao, a guardian of the South China Sea, was granted the medal for his participation in the construction of the Nansha Islands, developing civilian forces to safeguard China’s legitimate rights in the South China Sea and leading the way in resolutely safeguarding China’s territorial integrity and maritime rights without fear of death.
Another war veteran, Wang Zhanshan, participated in many battles including the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53). He led his comrades-in-arm and fought off 38 rounds of attacks in the Battle of Kumsong, holding their positions for four days and nights and eliminating more than 400 enemies.
Lu Yuanjiu, a major contributor to China’s “Two Bombs and One Satellite” project, also received the honor. He studied abroad but decided to return to the motherland despite facing some difficulties.
Another recipient, Memetjan Wumer, is a leading model against religious extremist forces in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region who faced death threats for his outstanding work.
Liu Guijin, a former diplomat who worked in Africa for nearly 40 years, was honored for his outstanding contribution to promoting China-Africa relations, friendship and cooperation.
Analysts said that the July 1 Medal honors the importance of the cohesion of the Party and the people, the inheritance of the precious spirit and unity. The conferring of the July 1 Medal is also regarded as a response to some Western politicians who have attempted to split Chinese people from the CPC.
The July 1 Medal, established by the CPC Central Committee, is the highest honor in the Party. It is granted every five years to celebrate major anniversaries of the founding of the CPC.
The red, gold and white medals are adorned with key elements such as the Party emblem and the five-pointed star.
The medal is also the fifth in China’s highest orders of honor system, in addition to the “Medal of the Republic,” the “August 1st Medal,” the “Friendship Medal” and the national titles of honor.