News

    China Champions Selfless Patriot to Combat Social Woes

    A member of the Chinese military forces gives a free medical check to a man as community service during the "Learning from Lei Feng Day" in a central square in Shanghai, March 5, 2012.
    A member of the Chinese military forces gives a free medical check to a man as community service during the "Learning from Lei Feng Day" in a central square in Shanghai, March 5, 2012.
    Stephanie Ho

    China's National People's Congress opens its annual legislative session in Beijing Monday, which is also the same day Mao designated "Lei Feng Day," to honor an an orphaned soldier and altruistic hero who died 50 years ago.

    This year's session of the National People's Congress is taking place amidst renewed government exhortations for people to study Lei Feng, a humble young man Mao turned into an icon of model behavior, whose only goal was to serve the party.

    Congress delegate and lieutenant general, Zhao Gang, says he admires Lei Feng's love of country and mankind, qualities that outshine the actual things he did.



    "We can see great things from what Lei Feng did, even though they were just small things. It's just like the reflection of the sun in a drop of water," said Zhao.

    Last year, 27 year old Zhang Liangliang and his friends made a movie where an ordinary guy tries to become a superhero by emulating Lei Feng.

    "People born in the 1960s or 1970s, perhaps they believe in Lei Feng. Now, though, young people born in the 1980s or 1990s doubt that he was able to actually do all the selfless good deeds that he is credited with," said Zhang.

    The film Lei Feng Xia (or Lei Feng Man) has been seen by millions of people online. Zhang says his favorite part is when Lei Feng struggles to clean up his neighborhood.

    "He uses a spatula to scrape off advertisements that were stuck on the ground. I've done that before. It's like someone comes to glue the ad there, then another person comes to clean it up, then someone puts something else on top of the same spot," Zhang noted.

    As modern Chinese society grows wealthier, official media bemoan a national decline in morality because of things like official corruption and public apathy.

    Guangxi delegate Wang Aiqing says this is why China still needs Lei Feng's spirit of selflessness.

    "People these days are only pursuing success, fame, their own interests and money, which means they're not really well-grounded," said Wang.  "They need to go back to a good starting point."

    Lei Feng died in 1962, at the age of 21. A complete edition of writings attributed to him was recently published, as part of more than 100 new Lei Feng-themed publications planned for this year that include poems, speeches, letters and analyses of his life.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Wangchuk
    March 09, 2012 5:08 AM
    The CCP is once again reviving Maoist propaganda. Truth is the CCP came to power through a violent war against the Chinese Govt not b/c the CCP was popular w/ the majority of masses. Mao killed millions of Chinese in Great Leap Forward & Cultural Revolution.

    by: Garfield
    March 06, 2012 8:38 PM
    'Lei Feng died in 1962, at the age of 21.' His age is wrong. Lei Feng died at the age of 22. Lei Feng Spirit is equate to, or similar to volunteerism.

    by: Little Lei
    March 06, 2012 3:55 PM
    'Lei Feng, ..., whose only goal was to serve the party'. This is absolutely wrong. Lei Feng also serves people and motherland. Most people who was helped by Lei Feng were common people. Chinese People cherish the memory of Lei Feng for he did help common people who need help. I think service for Party is not first primary quality represented by Lei Feng. The core of Lei Feng Spirit is to do good, to help people who need help.

    by: Genghis Khan
    March 06, 2012 11:52 AM
    In stead of learning "Lei Feng" (Communist's Text Book), Chinese must learn the Teaching of Confucius and Mencius for ethics and manners. Many intelligent and communism-phobia Chinese people admit that Chinese people today lost ethics and manners.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora