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Nuclear scientists worthy of praise

(Global Times)    13:30, January 10, 2015

Chinese nuclear physicist Yu Min who was behind the country's first successful hydrogen bomb test, won China's top science and technology award on Friday.

Chinese President Xi Jinpingpresented the award to Yu at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during an annual ceremony held to honor the most distinguished scientists and research achievements.

Like other scientists who participated in China's development of atomic weapons and satellites from the 1950s onward, Yu Min did his earlier work in secret - his name was not known to the public until he retired in 1988.

It is a story of patriotism. In the eyes of today's young people, Yu and other founding fathers of nuclear technology, including Deng Jiaxian and Qian Sanqiang, are like saints. Without any thoughts of material gain or vanity, these scientists hid in the research and test bases in the mountains or deserts, often absent for years.

Some of them did not live long enough to get national award. Others who did are already silver haired. They have devoted their lives to the technology that makes up the nation's power and strength.

We are thankful that China became a nuclear country decades ago. Without the State leaders' decision to develop nuclear bombs or the scientists' devotion, China might not be able to achieve today's status and strategic confidence.

Yu has received 5 million yuan ($805,000) with this award. Public opinion almost unanimously agreed that he deserves the award. Comparing with some entertainers who easily make millions a year, people say 5 million is really not too much for what Yu did for the country.

In the years when the founding fathers of China's nuclear or space programs did their research, China also saw political upheavals like the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

The country in those years was much poorer and less developed. But Yu and his colleagues did not complain, they shared their pride and pains with their motherland.

However, with the country's economic prosperity today, some people began to think the concept of a state is no longer important. Some even uphold individualism and laugh at patriotism. This is na ve.

The market economy has its role in maximizing productivity while addressing people's demands. However, the market economy alone can not support the country's ability to stand with dignity in the world stage.

Many scientists today have become "marketized," facing various material lures. Learning from scientists like Yu can help them not to get lost in vain pursuits. They need to remember to shoulder their responsibilities to the country and society.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Du Mingming,Bianji)

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