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Three recipients awarded highest military honor

By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-28 06:57
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President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, poses for a group photo on Wednesday with August 1 Medal recipients Nie Haisheng (left), Qian Qihu (second right) and Du Fuguo (right) at the award ceremony in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping conferred the August 1 Medal, the highest honor awarded to individual members of the Chinese military, to three People's Liberation Army personnel on Wednesday.

At a ceremony in Beijing, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, gave medals to Du Fuguo, a sergeant in the PLA Southern Theater Command, Professor Qian Qihu, a retired researcher at the former PLA University of Science and Technology, and Nie Haisheng, a renowned astronaut from the PLA Astronaut Division.

Xi hung the medal around each recipient's neck, presented them with a certificate, and posed for a photo with each one.

Du, 30, lost his eyes and arms in 2018 when trying to protect his comrades during a border-area mine clearance operation. He has been awarded a number of honors for his bravery and self-sacrifice.

Qian, 84, is a distinguished expert on national defense infrastructure and an academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He is the winner of China's top science award in 2018.

Nie, 57, has taken part in three spaceflights. He was commander of the Shenzhou XII mission, whose crew were the first inhabitants of China's Tiangong space station and stayed in orbit for three months.

According to its regulation, the August 1 Medal is granted to military personnel who have made outstanding contributions to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and interests, and to advancing the modernization of national defense and the armed forces.

This is the second time that the August 1 Medal was conferred on members of the Chinese military. The first group, of 10 recipients, were awarded the medal in July 2017.

At the ceremony on Wednesday, Xi also awarded an honorary flag on a PLA Air Force air-defense missile battalion.

In his orders to award the medals, the commander in chief called on all service members to learn from the recipients and the air-defense missile battalion and strive to build a world-class military.

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