Stories of patriotism, devotion shared by Xi

BEIJING: Sunday marks the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Addressing a grand reception in Beijing celebrating the occasion earlier this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the nation to firm up confidence and strive in unity to continue to surmount difficulties and march toward the goal of building a strong China and realizing national rejuvenation.
According to Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, patriotism has always been a source of spiritual strength that firmly unites the Chinese nation. He has encouraged the 1.4 billion Chinese people to weave their ideals into the future of the nation.
On multiple occasions, Xi recounted stories of iconic patriots from China’s rich history, both ancient and contemporary. Among them, Yue Fei, a military commander during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), stands out vividly.
Yue is a paragon of loyalty in Chinese culture, known for his heroic battles against the invading Jin military from the north. Legend has it that Yue’s mother tattooed four Chinese characters onto his back: “Jing Zhong Bao Guo,” or “serve the country with unreserved loyalty.”
Xi first encountered this legendary general in the pages of a childhood book.
When visiting a Beijing primary school in 2014, Xi encountered a group of students writing the characters “Jing Zhong Bao Guo” in calligraphy and was reminded of his childhood hero.
“My mother read me his story from picture books. ‘Wouldn’t it hurt to have his back tattooed?’ I asked my mother,” Xi recalled. “She said, ‘Of course, it hurt. But in this way, it was also engraved on Yue’s mind.’”
“Jing Zhong Bao Guo — I have long remembered these four characters. They are the pursuit of my entire life,” Xi told the students. –Agencies