Friends, family remember veteran reporter

Updated: 2011-08-12 09:24

By Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

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WASHINGTON — More than 60 friends and colleagues from China and the United States attended a memorial service to pay tribute to China Daily veteran reporter Li Xing on Thursday morning.

Li, 54, was struck by a cerebral hemorrhage while on assignment at the National Press Building during a luncheon last Thursday and died Sunday afternoon at Georgetown University Hospital. At the time of her death, she was the paper's chief US correspondent and assistant editor-in-chief.

Friends, family remember veteran reporter
Gao Anming, board member of China Daily, recalls Ms Li Xing's legacy at the memorial service on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011, at the De Vol Funeral Home in Washington, DC. [Photo/] 

Li's death came as a shock to many both at home and abroad. Friends who could not attend the memorial service sent flowers and wreaths to the funeral home to express their condolences. Thousands of people left heartfelt messages on Sina Weibo, a Chinese micro blog site, after learning of her death.

Minister Lu Youqing of the Chinese embassy in the US expressed his sorrow and said Li was a busy reporter traveling throughout the US, producing many wonderful stories.

"It is a great loss for China Daily and China's public diplomacy, as well as for our embassy," he said.

Andrea Corey, media relations officer at the Foreign Press Center under the US Department of State, sent a letter of condolence to Li's family. She recalled working with Li during a reporters' junket and said she was most impressed with Li's ability to make anyone she talked to feel as if they were the most important person in the room.

"Ms. Li Xing is a truly remarkable journalist and she will be missed," she said in the letter.

Dennis O’Brian, President and CEO of China Monitor Inc, is a longtime friend of Li and her family. He announced at the funeral that he will be opening a Chinese language learning program at the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security, a local firefighter training school, in honor of Li.

"She is a real Chinese lady and she is the best of the best," he said.

Judy Polumbaum, professor of journalism at University of Iowa, has known Li for 30 years and she said they were like sisters. 

"She was an extraordinary person in many ways," she said. "Especially in her work, she was very professional and serious. But she was also a fun, easygoing human being."

Friends, family remember veteran reporter
Minister Lu Youqing of the Chinese Embassy in the US recalls Ms Li Xing's legacy at the memorial service on Thursday, Aug 11, 2011, at the De Vol Funeral Home in Washington, DC. [Photo/]

She recalled that two winters ago, she was stuck in the Beijing airport during a snowstorm and asked Li for help.

"She and her husband happily drove to the airport in such bad weather," she said. "It seemed that I had given them a chance to have an adventure."

Richard Foristel, director of Webster University, China, met Li right before she collapsed during a forum hosted by the university at the National Press Building. He said he was sad to learn of Li’s death.

"She had been a great help to us back in Beijing, greeting and talking with our students from the US and Europe, students who were visiting China while studying international relations. In addition to being a journalist, Li Xing conducted herself as an ambassador for China, and an enthusiastic teacher of communications," Foristel said.

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