Kazakhstan student in Hainan awarded 100,000 yuan after being praised by Xi Jinping

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 September, 2013, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 September, 2013, 5:01pm

A student from Kazakhstan studying in China’s southern Hainan province was awarded 100,000 yuan days after President Xi Jinping described him as an embodiment of friendship between the two countries.

Hainan University held an award ceremony for Kazakh student Tulenov Ruslan and gave him an “Outstanding Contribution Award” on Wednesday for his dedication in making frequent blood donations.

Ruslan, 20, has a Rhesus negative blood type, which is very rare in China, the University said in a statement. On learning of his rare blood type, the third-year college student took the initiative to donate blood regularly.

The award ceremony came shortly after Xi Jinping praised Ruslan in a speech at a Kazakhstan university following the G20 summit in Russia.

“The touching story [of Ruslan] illustrates the long-lasting friendship between China and Kazakhstan,” the president said to an audience of hundreds of officials, students and media.

President Xi also stressed that cross-nation friendship among youths was vital to ensure friendly relations between nations, promising to offer 30,000 scholarships in the next few years to six countries including Kazakhstan.

Hainan University made the decision to reward Ruslan on Tuesday, several days after Xi mentioned him in his speech, according to a public announcement from the principal’s office.

“Ruslan’s blood donations have had a significant impact on encouraging the general public to donate blood. He not only bolstered China-Kazakhstan relations but also brought honour to the school,” the announcement said.

Ruslan was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

The school’s decision to offer him cash received a mixed response online.

“Life is more valuable than money. His dedication to donating blood in China may eventually save some Chinese people’s lives. I support the school’s decision,” one online user commented.

Others, however, were less positive, suspecting the whole event was nothing more than the school’s attempt at official flattery.

“Exactly why was he awarded 100,000 yuan? Is it because he is a foreigner, because he donated rare blood, or because president Xi singled him out and praised him?” a comment read.