Nation honors father of Xi Jinping

Updated: 2013-10-16 00:57

By Zhao Lei (China Daily)

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Nation honors father of Xi Jinping

A set of two stamps was issued on Tuesday to mark what would have been the 100th birthday of Xi Zhongxun, a respected Communist Party elder and former vice-premier. Xi, who died at age 89 in 2002, was President Xi Jinping's father. LONG WEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

China honored the 100th anniversary of the birth of Xi Zhongxun, a late top political leader and the father of President Xi Jinping, on Tuesday with a symposium at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

With Xi Jinping in attendance as a family member, attendees including Zhang Dejiang and Li Jianguo — both senior lawmakers — and Vice-Premier Liu Yandong recalled the career highlights and achievements of Xi Zhongxun and paid their respects to the late leader, according to Xinhua News Agency.

In his speech at the symposium, Li Jianguo, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, called on others to follow Xi Zhongxun's noble characteristics, revolutionary spirit and fine style.

Xi Zhongxun, who died in May 2002 at the age of 89, is also being honored with a six-part documentary produced by the Party's history researchers and China Central Television. It started airing on Monday on CCTV's flagship channel and will conclude on Wednesday.

The documentary details the "revolutionary career" of Xi Zhongxun, which spanned 76 years. It concentrates on his contributions to China's development and modernization after the founding of New China in 1949, according to a news release by CCTV.

It specifically focuses on two major achievements of the late leader: his participation in the establishment of an important revolutionary base in Northwest China, which nurtured the Communist Party of China in its struggles against the then-Kuomintang rulers and Japanese invaders; and his advocacy of South China's special economic zone, which pioneered the nation's reform and opening-up.

The documentary unveils a host of historic videos and images of Xi Zhongxun that have never been seen by the public, according to CCTV.

The production crew spent three years in 12 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in China as well as several cities overseas to make the documentary, said Xia Meng, who oversaw the documentary's production. Xia added that more than 300 people were interviewed.

Prior to the documentary's debut, three books about Xi Zhongxun were published by the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee to commemorate his 100th birth anniversary.

The books include 210 selections written by the late revolutionary, 98 articles written about him by his comrades, colleagues and relatives, as well as hundreds of photographs detailing his work and life experiences.

China Post also issued two stamps on Tuesday to honor the late leader.

In a China Youth Daily article published on Friday, Xi Yuanping, Xi Jinping's younger brother, discussed his father's life and his efforts to promote reform and opening-up in China.

Xi Zhongxun was born in 1913 on a family farm in Fuping, Shaanxi province. He became a follower of Communism by the age of 12. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became a high-ranking leader of the State Council and assisted Zhou Enlai, New China's first premier.

Following the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), Xi Zhongxun was assigned to lead Guangdong province in 1978 and made several bold moves to develop the provincial economy. In 1980, he was elected one of the nation's top lawmakers.