10 awarded high­est mil­i­tary honor

Pres­i­dent salutes ‘gen­er­a­tional mod­els’, names new PLA gen­er­als

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG ZHIHAO zhangzhi­hao@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pro­moted five peo­ple to gen­eral in the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army on Fri­day and awarded 10 peo­ple the Or­der of Au­gust 1 — the lat­est and high­est mil­i­tary dec­o­ra­tion — for their out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to na­tional de­fense and mil­i­tary mod­ern­iza­tion.

Xi, also chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, at­tended the cer­e­mony, which took place in Bei­jing just four days ahead of the PLA’s 90th an­niver­sary on Tues­day.

The five new gen­er­als are: Han Weiguo, com­man­der of the Cen­tral Theater; Liu Lei, po­lit­i­cal com­mis­sar of the PLA Ground Force; Yu Zhongfu, po­lit­i­cal com­mis­sar of the PLA Air Force; Wang Jia- sheng, po­lit­i­cal com­mis­sar of the PLA Rocket Force; and Gao Jin, com­man­der of the PLA Strate­gic Sup­port Force.

As for the award, this is the fourth time — and the first time since 1988 — that the Chi­nese mil­i­tary gave its high­est mil­i­tary honor to dis­tin­guished in­di­vid­u­als, who were se­lected from a list of 17 can­di­dates pub­lished in June.

The re­cip­i­ents came from a wide range of mil­i­tary, science and armed po­lice forces, in­clud­ing Rear Ad­mi­ral Ma Ming­wei, the lead­ing en­gi­neer of elec­tro­mag­netic cat­a­pult for Chi­nese air­craft car­ri­ers; Ma­jor Gen­eral Jing

Haipeng, an as­tro­naut and the com­man­der of the Shen­zhou XI space­craft; and Yin Chun­rong, a bor­der po­lice­man who cracked more than 890 drug cases and caught more than 1,470 crim­i­nal sus­pects since 1998.

“All ac­tive-duty sol­diers and of­fi­cers from the PLA and armed po­lice should learn from the re­cip­i­ents of the or­der. … They are the gen­er­a­tional mod­els for build­ing a strong mil­i­tary and a strong na­tion,” Xi said in an or­der read aloud by Fan Chang­long, vice-chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion.

The or­der also urged all sol­diers and of­fi­cers to en­hance po­lit­i­cal aware­ness, res­o­lutely obey or­ders from the cen­tral lead­er­ship and im­prove com­bat readi­ness, thus to build the PLA into a world-class mil­i­tary.

The pre­vi­ous three award cer­e­monies took place in 1933, 1955 and 1988. The pre­vi­ous high­est mil­i­tary honor was the Or­der of Heroic Ex­em­plar, which was su­per­seded by the new Or­der of Au­gust 1 af­ter ap­proval by the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion in June.

The Or­der of Au­gust 1 — the date of the PLA’s found­ing — was es­tab­lished in 1955 and was given to some of the most se­nior and pres­ti­gious gen­er­als, such as Zhu De and Su Yu. But it was a na­tional award that had three classes and was only given to those who dis­tin­guished them­selves in the rev­o­lu­tion­ary wars.

The new Or­der of Au­gust 1, which is now a mil­i­tary dec­o­ra­tion with only one class, will be awarded once ev­ery five years to those who have made out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to safe­guard­ing the coun­try’s sovereignty, se­cu­rity and de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ests, as well as ad­vanc­ing the mod­ern­iza­tion of na­tional de­fense and the armed forces, ac­cord­ing to its mis­sion state­ment.

Chen Yue, a mil­i­tary his­to­rian from the In­sti­tute of Naval His­tory Stud­ies, said this year’s award is a break­through, both in merit cri­te­ria and re­cip­i­ents.

“In the pre­vi­ous cer­e­monies, the first-class or­ders were only granted to leg­endary gen­er­als with the most ac­com­plished re­sumes. Such es­teemed, al­most myth­i­cal sta­tus made it hard for the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple to re­late and learn from their mod­els,” he said.

“Now, the 10 re­cip­i­ents come from a wide range of dis­ci­plines and fields. ... These are ex­em­plars that we or­di­nary peo­ple can re­late to and draw in­spi­ra­tion from.”

LI GANG / XIN­HUA

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping awards medals and cer­tifi­cates to the re­cip­i­ents of the Or­der of Au­gust 1 — the lat­est and high­est mil­i­tary dec­o­ra­tion — at the Bayi Build­ing in Bei­jing on Fri­day.

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