A Ripple of Chinese President’s Letter to Beida
One of the China’s oldest and prestigious research universities, Peking University, colloquially known in Chinese as Beida, is abuzz with excitement after it received a letter from the country’s President HU Jintao.
Hu wrote back to 18 volunteers from Beida on May 10, after he received a letter from the “Twelfth Graduate Volunteer Teachers Team” who are now teaching in remote western China, including Tibet, Qinghai, Yunnan and Xinjiang. Hu has expressed satisfaction with graduate students from Bieda who volunteered to teach in these most underdeveloped regions.
”Despite hardships and with wholehearted devotion, you have played a positive role in boosting education in the western regions during your one-year volunteer work, and you have gained experiences, strengthened mind and improved abilities through grassroots practice," Hu said. "I am very satisfied with the progress you have made."
He then approved of Beida: “over the years, Peking University has organized groups of graduate students to the west to support education there. This is an effective way to promote young students to learn from practice, learn from the people. I hope Peking University can continue to pass this ‘relay baton’ on to future volunteer teams and let more and more young students be exercised from it, be more eligible to become our country’s future backbone.”
Hu’s letter, combined with two greeting paragraphs and two main praising paragraphs, about 300 words in length, is particularly significant for Beida. It is the first time that Hu writes a letter in his personal name to Beida students and then the letter has aroused heated reactions not only across the campus but also the whole country.
On May 24, both CCTV (China Central Television)’s trump news program Xin Wen Lian Bo(News Simulcast) and the biggest press agency of China Xin Hua are concentrating on the letter. On the same day, China Central Communist Youth League and China Ministry of Education have issued a notice that relevant organizations at various levels should arrange special meetings immediately for college students to deeply learn Presidents’ spirit showed in his recent letter.
On May 25, some Beida students change their status on Renren.com(a social networking service almost similar to Facebook) : “Five-sixths(in the portal news section), all about Hu Core’s letter!” “Hu Core” is a humorous saying that represents Presidents Hu among young students. Though students do not care much about their campus media which are usually filled with “official” reporting, for example, the university’s main leaders’ activities, celebrated figures’ visits, or recent research achievements, such an intensive reporting on Hu’s letter seems to enrage many.
Among the five news reporting, interviews with the volunteer graduates cited from Xinhua enjoys the highest clipping rate. “It is a big surprise and a great honor, we are very excited and touched at the personal letter from President Hu” said Zhang Zhendong, one of the 18 volunteer graduates who wrote to President Hu on April 9 to report their work as volunteer teachers. “President’s letter makes us clearly understand our values; we must work harder as a return to President’s high recognition.”
LV Shasha, an undergraduate from Journalism School, criticized the news abovementioned because she personally does not believe the real influence of Hu’s letter on those graduates could be as enormous as they said to the media-Hu’s words have immediately helped them find their future directions. “What is showed on the portal may be the best satire.” She said.
Peking University President Zhou Qifeng who goes into raptures because of President Hu’s satisfaction with his students, said the university would follow Hu's instructions to organize the volunteer teaching service in a better way. The university’s Party committee then initiates collective learning activities across the campus to “deeply understand President’s instructions and widely promote his spirits”.
“All the Beida students are greatly encouraged by our President’s letter and they feel their responsibilities to be the backbone of our whole society much more clearly.” Said a piece of Beida’s portal news.
“Sadly, we are ‘represented’ again. Or I do not belong to the ‘all studetns’.” HE Tao, a graduate from Chinese Literature Department said.