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Medal laureate touts his family's spirit of service

By HOU LIQIANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-07-26 13:11
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Li Hongta reads newspaper at home, on June 12, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Li Hongta followed in the footsteps of his well-known relatives

As head of the Civil Affairs Department of Anhui Province, Li Hongta rode his bicycle to work most of the time, although he had the option of using a government-issued vehicle due to his ranking.

His name may sound strange to some Chinese people. His grandfather, however, is a widely known figure not only in China, but also around the world. He is grandson of Li Dazhao, one of the founders of the Communist Party of China.

Born in 1889, Li Dazhao was also one of the leaders of the 1919 May Fourth Movement, a patriotic campaign against imperialism and feudalism. In March 1920, Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu, another CPC co-founder, launched Marxism theory research institutes in Beijing and Shanghai. The institutes gradually established contact with thinkers in other regions and began planning the Party's founding.

Li Dazhao was executed after being captured by a warlord in 1927.

As the Party celebrates its 100th anniversary, Li Hongta was one of the laureates of the July 1 Medal, the highest honor of the Party conferred to outstanding CPC members. But he won the medal not because of his grandfather. He got it for his exemplary role as an outstanding Party member.

Li Hongta was born in 1949, long after his grandfather was killed. However, he inherited the ideals of the Party co-founder to be frugal and stay committed to the wellbeing of the Chinese people.

Li Baohua, Li Hongta's father, was also a prominent figure. Li Baohua, whose given name is a homophone of "protect China" in Mandarin, headed Anhui's CPC provincial committee before he was promoted to governor of the People's Bank of China in 1978.

Despite his father's success, Li Hongta didn't lead a privileged life.

Just 19 days after Li Hongta was born, he was sent to a nursery. He only went back to his parents after he was 6 years old. When he was 16, he joined the People's Liberation Army, and later became a worker at a chemical plant in Hefei, Anhui's capital, in 1969.

A reporter with Guangzhou Daily, a newspaper in the capital of Guangdong province, once asked Li Hongta if his background had ever helped him in his official career.

"No, my family would never even think about helping me get promoted," he answered, as seen in an online transcript of the newspaper's interview with him in 2015.

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