National medals, other awards given to people who 'demonstrate with their actions that greatness comes out of the ordinary'
President Xi Jinping called on the Party and whole nation to remain as committed and hardworking as the heroes and role models who received national awards on Sunday.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark in a speech during the presentation ceremony for national medals and honorary titles.
Forty-two Chinese and foreign individuals were honored for their contributions to the country ahead of its 70th founding anniversary. The honorees include the "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping and Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou, who is credited with discovering the antimalarial drug artemisinin.
Xi conveyed his congratulations and respect to the heroes and role models who received the Medal of the Republic and honorary titles, and to foreign friends, who received the Medal of Friendship.
Noting that the people honored are outstanding representatives of all who have contributed to the cause of the Party and nation, Xi said their contributions will always be marked in history.
When people respect and praise heroes, more heroes will arise, Xi said, adding that the Party and State have always attached great importance to recognizing such people.
"Today, we honor these heroes and role models with the highest standards to promote their qualities of loyalty, perseverance and humbleness," he said.
Xi highlighted their loyalty to the cause of the Party and the people, their dedication to hard work for decades in fields where the Party and the people needed them most and their humbleness in making huge sacrifices in ordinary jobs without pursuing fame or self-interest.
"Heroes and role models once again demonstrate with their actions that greatness comes out of the ordinary," Xi said.