CHINA'S military leaders have called on the three-million-strong Army to learn more from the legendary hero, Lei Feng, as part of a campaign to strengthen spiritual civilisation.
Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said yesterday the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) General Political Department asked all military instructors to intensify teachings on the virtues of the revolutionary hero.
The legend of Lei Feng, said to have been killed in a truck accident in 1962 at the age of 22, has been central to the party's propaganda campaign.
It was used in past decades and early last year, but less frequently in the past few months.
The PLA call came after a national propaganda work conference at which the ruling party vowed to tighten ideological control across the nation to help implement party policies this year.
Communist Party leaders have summed up the spirit of Lei Feng as the commitment to serve the people whole-heartedly, love the motherland, strive for the collective interest, and maintain a belief in the benefits of socialism and good work ethics.
The directive cited the repeated remarks made by state President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Jiang Zemin, that the Army must be the forerunners in the nation to promote at the forefront of promoting the socialist spiritual civilisation.
All army officers should push the ''Learn from Lei Feng Campaign'' to a new height, the order said.
It called on PLA troops to stick to the teachings of patriarch Deng Xiaoping and Mr Jiang on the upholding of patriotism, socialism and communism.
Soldiers should equip themselves with the lofty ideals to guard against the erosive ideas of money-worship, extreme individualism and decadent lifestyles, it said .
The Army should develop its own codes of ethics and strive to ''practise and promote'' the new moral standards of China's socialism, the order said.