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China’s “father of hybrid rice” becomes Internet sensation after speech in English

By Li Yan (People's Daily Online)    13:14, July 13, 2017
China’s “father of hybrid rice” becomes Internet sensation after speech in English
Yuan Longping delivers a speech. (Li Tuo/Youth.cn)

A video clip of China's “father of hybrid rice,” Yuan Longping, speaking English has become a sensation on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

The 87-year-old spoke at the 9th Shandong high-level talents forum in Qingdao. Yuan presented hybrid rice to the world in a 20-minute speech. “I speak broken English,” the octogenarian started, but during the rest of his speech, Yuan neither paused nor made any mistakes.

The audience applauded Yuan’s outstanding scientific contribution and the wonderful speech he presented. The video was searched 200,000 times and played over 100 million times by noon on July 12.

“Yuan has made huge contributions to the country’s agricultural development. He has fed generations of people,” one net user wrote. “It’s a surprise that Yuan can speak English at his age,” another commented.

Yuan in 2016 launched a research and development center focusing on "sea rice". When fully operational, the variety can produce 50 billion kilograms of grain, able to feed 200 million people. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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