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Centenarian Eighth Route Army veteran honored

Source: People's Daily Online Updated: 2021-08-09


Guo Ruixiang reads in his home in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Guo Ruixiang, a 101-year-old veteran of the Eighth Route Army under the Communist Party of China who participated in several revolutionary struggles and has been a Party member for 84 years, has been awarded the July 1 Medal, the Party's highest honor, for his contribution to the Party cause.

Guo was born in a village in Weixian county, north China's Hebei Province, and joined the Party in March 1937 when he was 17 years old.

After the Lugou Bridge Incident occurred on July 7 that year, which is recognized as the start of Japan's full-scale invasion of China and China's national resistance against the Japanese invaders, Guo established a Party branch in the village to admit new Party members and collected intelligence for the Eighth Route Army.

In early 1939, Guo led a team of more than 40 members, who all became Eighth Route Army soldiers. "I felt deeply honored to join the army, and soldiers and officers were equal members bound by brotherly ties," he said emotionally.

One year later, Guo commanded a platoon of soldiers and launched a "surprise" attack on the Japanese cavalry's positions in a battle in the southwestern part of east China's Shandong Province. Guo won the battle and captured horses, rifles, and a machine gun. After that, Guo participated in dozens of revolutionary struggles led by the Party.

Guo has never used his position to seek personal profits, either for his family members or for himself.

Guo's two sons and four daughters all took ordinary positions before their retirement. Five of them joined the army, but none took advantage of their father's feats to seek promotion.

The veteran's eldest son, Guo Jiang, was a demobilized serviceman and found a job by himself. In 1999, when Guo Jiang and his wife were laid off, they could have submitted an application to avoid unemployment concurrently according to the relevant regulations at the time. But their father refused their request. "You should conduct yourself according to the standard of Party members and give the opportunity to other laid-off workers," the veteran said. Eventually, the couple started their own business and managed to get through the difficult time.

The veteran's fourth daughter Guo Huili was also demobilized from the army. She was surprised to find that her former army commander was once a subordinate under her father.

"Why didn't you tell me about your working relationship?" she said jokingly. "You had to rely on yourselves and didn't need to know about this for personal gains," the veteran answered.

The centenarian has always followed the austere lifestyle of a good revolutionary. In his home in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, he still uses a desk, a closet, and a sofa he made himself more than four decades ago, as well as a mug his son gave him 44 years ago.

Even after retirement, he continues to make contributions to society. "I will continue striving for the Party's cause," he said firmly.