- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Inside China: Lei Feng and China’s zeitgeist
Question of the Day
Lei Feng, the famed half-real, half-fabricated communist model soldier — killed when a telephone pole fell on him more than 50 years ago — is making a dramatic comeback in China’s cultural and political life, thanks to vigorous promotion by the Communist Party’s new leader, Xi Jinping.
“The time of one’s life is limited, but it is limitless for one to wholeheartedly serve the people,” Mr. Xi stated, quoting the famous saying of the deceased model soldier.
Since then, the entire nation has been the target of the latest propaganda campaign exalting the life and devotion of Lei.
The campaign was a prominent theme at the ongoing annual meetings of the rubber-stamp National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
“[Lei‘s] power of faith [in communism], love for all, selfless spirit, and desire to excel are the best reflection of our national spirit. They are our ‘national backbone,’” Mr. Xi told delegates to the meetings March 6.
On March 5, 1963, Mao launched a nationwide “Learning from Comrade Lei Feng” campaign.
Lei has since become a political icon in the nation and represented a perfect communist moral order that is characterized by unswerving devotion to communist ideology, selfless spirit in helping others, and, most important, a fanatic loyalty to the leader of the Chinese Communist Party.
On that fateful August day in 1962, Lei, then an obscure 21-year-old soldier in an army transportation unit stationed in the Northeast province of Liaoning, was killed in a traffic accident.
He had been directing a truck that was backing up. The truck struck a telephone pole. The pole fell on Lei, and a legend was born.
After his death, political commissars in his unit allegedly discovered volumes of Lei’s diaries with 200,000 words of fanatical admiration for Mao, daily affirmations of his faith in communism, and his devotion to selfless deeds.
Mao’s defense chief, Marshal Lin Biao, decided to make a hero out of the common soldier, whose devotion to Mao came as China was recovering from Mao’s disastrous “Great Leap Forward,” which tried to promote rapid advances in agriculture and manufacturing but resulted in massive famine and millions of deaths.
About the Author
Miles Yu’s column appears Fridays. He can be reached at email@example.com.
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Islamic militants seize Benghazi as U.S. evacuates Libya
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world