Mao Xinyu, the only grandson of Chairman Mao Zedong, will possibly become the country's youngest major general by Army Day on Aug 1 next year.
Mao Xinyu, grandson of Chairman Mao Zedong, will possibly become China's youngest major general next year. [File photo
"It will be my great honor to get such a promotion at my age. Besides peoples' respect and concern for the Mao family, my own efforts also count and I will work harder," Mao told the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News over the weekend.
The remarks clarified previous media reports that Mao had been promoted from senior colonel to major general in June this year, which caught the public's attention.
Mao Xinyu was born in 1970, the only child of Mao Anqing, Mao Zedong's second son. He studied history at Renmin University of China, earned a PhD at the Academy of Military Sciences and joined the army while pursuing his doctoral studies.
The 39-year-old now serves as vice director of the war theory and strategic studies department of the People's Liberation Army Academy of Military Sciences. He is also a leading member of the Communist Party's Youth League and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top political advisor.
Mao said he has been in the army for more than nine years, and army rules stipulate that anyone in the army for 10 years is entitled to pursue the major general rank.
"If there's no exception, I could be granted the rank as early as next Army Day," he was quoted as saying.
On Sept 24, Mao was employed as honorary president of the Guangzhou Vocational College of Matsuda. Shao Hua, Mao's mother, was appointed president of the school in September 2007.
Shao, who died last June, once said: "If I cannot go to school for classes, my son will come instead."
Mao said he would take his mother's responsibilities to be honorary president of the school and give lessons later.
"People should pay more attention to education for all-round development than for scores. Mao Zedong's Thought should be covered in high schools like Matsuda," Mao said, adding that he is in discussions with the vocational school to give classes of Mao Zedong's Thought soon.
Mao, who feels that upholding Mao Zedong Thought is his unshakable responsibility, has authored a number of books, including the award-winning My Grandfather Mao Zedong.
"It was after joining the army that I began to really understand my grandfather As a soldier, I regard him as our leader and commander-in-chief," he said.
Mao also suggested his grandfather's birthday and the day of his death become a legal national holiday in commemoration, the report said.
The proposed dates are Dec 26 when his grandfather was born and Sept 9 when he died.
"As long as we have special holidays for our traditional events like the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival, the country should also set up similar holidays for important dates like the birthday or the day of death for great leaders," Mao said.
He added that he will propose the idea to next year's annual session of the CPPCC.
Mao said he will show up in Tian'anmen Square on Oct 1 to watch the National Day parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.