Lei Feng

Lei Feng's spirit of serving others has lost its appeal

Visitors pose in front of large photos of Lei Feng in an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of 'Learn from Lei Feng Day' at the Beijing World Art Museum. Photo: EPA

Keeping a diary about one's "good deeds" each day was shared homework for many pupils born in the 1980s. These assignments were given because teachers wanted to encourage their students to be like Lei Feng, a revolutionary who died aged just 21 in 1962 and was later hailed by the government as the poster boy for selflessness and being a model citizen.

Sunday, 10 March, 2013, 2:52am 2 comments

China Digest


Male sheep produces milk

A male sheep was found to be producing milk in Doudian village, Fangshan district this week, the Beijing Times reports. Its owner noticed the milk, and the abnormality was confirmed by a biology professor, who said it could have been due to irregular hormone distribution in the animal.

16 Aug 2012 - 4:23am

Heroic deeds tainted by the party's propaganda machine

Mainland media were awash with praise for two young heroes last week - 29 year-old teacher Zhang Lili and 31-year-old PLA soldier Shen Xing .

Zhang, a teacher at No.19 Middle School in Jiamusi in Heilongjiang province, lost both her legs after she was run over by a school bus after pushing two students out of its path on May 8.

20 May 2012 - 12:00am

Students embrace spirit of Lei Feng

University students in Guangzhou have responded enthusiastically to the central government's call to 'learn from Lei Feng'.

Lei Feng was a Mao-era soldier who is used as an example of selfless giving, modesty, dedication and other good qualities. Since March 5, 1963, when Mao Zedong called on the nation to learn from the young soldier, March has been Lei Feng Month.

3 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Figments of wild imaginations

Propaganda is information used to promote a point of view or political cause.

The word first took this meaning in the first world war. In those days, it was a neutral term. It referred to information that was generally helpful with no political objective. These days the word has negative connotations.

21 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Extend spirit of Lei Feng to religion

Mainland authorities are concerned about the development of a moral vacuum in society. Their latest attempt to fill it is the relaunch of an iconic role model first held up to the people by Mao Zedong. People's Liberation Army soldier Lei Feng became a symbol of selflessness and good deeds to others after his accidental death in 1962.

13 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Life and soul of the Party

It was a rare fresh morning in February and the clocks were striking eight. On a corner in central Beijing, about six kilometres north of Tiananmen Square, a group of primary-school children with green uniforms were moving hastily into a small building 10 minutes before class. Some waved impatiently to their doting parents, who had ridden their kids to the school on bicycles.

4 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Who said it?

As China's leaders know, the country's current economic growth model is unsustainable

World Bank president Robert Zoellick in Beijing

Propaganda during the Cultural Revolution became a joke ... the propaganda machine needs to find a new way to persuade people

A critic questioning the drive to reinvent communist propaganda icon Lei Feng (above)

28 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Communist hero reborn as human face of party

The Communist Party has kicked off a high-profile campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of an icon, in what is being seen as an effort to fill a moral vacuum in society.

The party's powerful Publicity Department launched the 'Practice Lei Feng Spirit' campaign at a press conference in Beijing yesterday.

28 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Party goes on, but would its icon recognise it?

In some of Shanghai's busiest subway stations, the revered visage of Lei Feng gazes out over bustling commuters like the ghost of propaganda past.

5 Mar 2011 - 12:00am

In Brief

Rich urged to spend more

7 Mar 2009 - 12:00am

Martyrs to the nation

Huang Jiguang a Korean war hero who was killed while trying to use his body to block shelling from an enemy fort during a fierce battle in October 1952.

Lei Feng a model soldier born in 1940. He was killed in an accident on August 15, 1962, and later recognised as a martyr for his selfless contribution to the community and readiness to help others.

21 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Business figures share experience and benefit of party membership

With the commercial sector offering a quicker route to success and fame than politics in today's China, what is it about the Communist Party that attracts private entrepreneurs?

20 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

Beijing searches for new pin-up boy as model soldier loses his shine

The boyish face of the mainland's model soldier, Lei Feng , has recently appeared in two unlikely places - promoting condoms and doing good deeds in an online game.

3 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Corrections & clarifications

The name of a sociology professor at Peking University, quoted in Saturday's page A6 report on the mainland's memorial day for model worker Lei Feng was misspelled. He is Xia Xueluan , not Xia Jinlian. We regret the error.

5 Mar 2007 - 12:00am