BEIJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping has praised the deeds of a late forestry professor, who championed poverty alleviation through afforestation, saying he should be a role model for members of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Xi made the remarks in an instruction in praise of Li Baoguo, who taught at Hebei Agricultural University. Xi called him an excellent intellectual and likened him to the "foolish old man on the Taihang Mountains," a character in a Chinese fable who relentlessly tried to remove the mountains in front of his house.
Xi urged party members, cadres, educators and scientists to learn from Li, whose tireless, selfless work and spirit was for the masses.
Li will be remembered as a man who was not afraid of getting his hands dirty, as he would spend more than half the year directly involved in afforestation projects and worked closely with villagers to help them lift themselves out of poverty.
He successfully afforested more than 93,000 hectares of barren mountains and helped 100,000 farmers out of poverty.
He died of heart attack on April 10. He was 58.
Li was posthumously awarded the title of "Excellent CPC Member," the top award an individual can receive for deeds that serve the people or the state.
A seminar about Li's work was held on Sunday afternoon in Beijing.
Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, met with the members of a group publicizing Li's deeds.
Liu expressed his condolences to Li's family members and presented them with Li's certificate of excellence.
Liu said at the meeting that Li's deeds showed the CPC purpose of serving the people, asking all Party members to implement Xi's instruction and learn from Li Baoguo.
Liu urged Party members to make contributions to the cause of the Party and the people, build a benign image of honesty, uprightness and dedication, and asked Party organizations at all levels to make Li a role model in a bid to ask Party members to learn from him and play as role models themselves.
Liu also called for learning from Li's deeds to lift more people out of poverty, and better support economic and social development. He asked publicity departments and the press to advocate Li's work.
The seminar was co-sponsored by the CPC Central Committee's Organization Department and Publicity Department, the Ministry of Education and the CPC Hebei Provincial Committee.