BEIJING -- As the Communist Party of China (CPC) marks its centenary in 2021, the Party is looking back on its history and recounting past glory.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has on multiple occasions shared stories from the history of the CPC that shine a light on the integrity and hardworking spirit of outstanding Party members.
CADRE RECOGNIZED AS ROLE MODEL OF INTEGRITY
Lankao, a county in central China's Henan Province that was once stricken by poverty, is known throughout the nation, largely because of Jiao Yulu, an official who worked there in the 1960s and died of illness on duty at the age of 42.
The late Lankao Party chief devoted his life to promoting local development by leading people to combat sandstorms, saline-alkali land and floods, known as the "three disasters" that plagued the county at the time.
Jiao has inspired generations of Chinese with his hard work, plain living and moral integrity.
Xi visited Lankao in March and May 2014. Addressing local officials, Xi urged them to strive to become outstanding Party members and officials by following Jiao as a role model of integrity.
Jiao lived a frugal life, repeatedly mending his clothes, hats, shoes, and socks to prolong their use, and "was always the first to bear hardships and the last to enjoy comforts," Xi said.
"He strictly abode by Party discipline and rules and never used his power to seek benefits for himself or his relatives," Xi highlighted.
SOLDIER REMEMBERED AS ICON OF ALTRUISM
Fushun, a city in northeast China's Liaoning Province, is where Lei Feng -- the late Chinese icon of altruism, served and was buried.
Lei joined the People's Liberation Army in 1960 and was known for devoting almost all of his spare time and money to selflessly helping others.
"If you were a water drop, would you like to provide any moisture for the fields; If you were a ray of sunshine, would you like to light up a portion of the dark; If you were a grain of rice, would you like to feed a life?" read a diary of Lei's.
In 1962, Lei died in an accident when he helped a fellow soldier direct a truck. He was only 22.
A year later, Chairman Mao Zedong called on the entire nation to follow Lei's example. Lei's legacy lives on.
In 2018, during an inspection to Fushun, Xi visited Lei's memorial and laid a flower basket before his tomb. Commemorating this Chinese icon of altruism, Xi stressed the need to pass on the Lei Feng spirit from generation to generation.
"We will be invincible" if each and every Chinese person, CPC member and CPC organization can practice the Lei Feng spirit and become "a shining cog which never rusts" in their own roles, Xi said.
QUARTERMASTER WHO SACRIFICED HIS LIFE
The past 100 years since the CPC's founding has seen a great number of outstanding CPC members. While some of them are household names like Jiao and Lei, there are also many others who are lesser known or even nameless but whose stories have been faithfully retold and remembered over the years.
Integrity and self-discipline have always been essential requirements for CPC members, especially those holding public office.
Xi once cited a story that took place during the Central Red Army's epic Long March in the 1930s.
While scaling a snowy mountain, a soldier was found frozen to death, clad in thin worn clothes. The commander sent for the officer in charge of supplies, demanding to know why cotton-padded coats had failed to reach the soldier. People told the commander through tears that the late soldier was none other than the quartermaster himself.
He who had all the quilts and uniforms at his disposal chose to die of cold rather than warm himself first. "What a noble state of mind!" Xi said.
"It is the devotion of thousands upon thousands of Chinese progressives with similar political consciousness that has helped the CPC win one arduous battle after another," Xi added.