The thunderous applause from an 800-strong audience for Tan Zhuqing, a common Chinese woman who dedicated 48 years of her life to community service, fully demonstrated the nationwide respect for her spirit of serving the people.
At a lecture on the good deeds of Tan Zhuqing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese Vice-President Zeng Qinghong extended his condolences to Tan's relatives, calling on all the Party members and government officials to learn from Tan for her deep care for the people, and her whole-hearted devotion to public service.
Zeng stressed that Tan's spirit best embodied the "honor and shame" concept proposed by President Hu Jintao, which upholds that officials should serve the people. Government officials and the Party members should make an in-depth study on this guideline and consider it as an important part of the goal for a harmonious society, he noted.
Tan, born in 1931, began to organize a residents committee at the age of 26 in Changchun, capital city of Northeast China's Jilin Province. Giving up a good opportunity for better-income or high-ranking jobs, she opened up a small restaurant with her own savings and recruited laid-off workers. Inspired by her small restaurant, people in the community set up 18 kinds of life service hiring 500 jobless people. The community as a whole so far has 7 million yuan worth of fixed assets for public service.
People reciting Tan's stories will all refer to her contribution to the welfare cause in the community. In 1984, Tan, at the age of 50, collected funds and materials to build a home for 12 old people without families and a kindergarten for 30 children in the community.
Known as the "alleyway premier", Tan never ceased to serve the local people. She built roads and planted grass for the resident area, launched an entertainment center for residents, and even donated her own bonus for poor families.
"Tan's way of serving the people has fully embodied the principles of public servants which should function by the mandate of the people, sympathize with the feelings of the people, and work for the well-being of the people," Zeng said.
He stressed that community is the foundation of the Party in the urban areas. China has many community service workers who have made great efforts to serve the people, and helped keep the tight connection between the Party and the masses.
With speeding up of urbanization in China, communities have played a more important role in China's social construction, Zeng said. Party organizations at all levels should learn from her spirit of public duty, while keeping the advanced nature of the Party.