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UPDATED: March 7, 2013 NO. 10 MARCH 7, 2013
Inspirational Role Models
Winners of the annual Touching China Award recognized for their good deeds
By Wang Hairong

Zhou told CCTV that she feels happy that she can save villagers some trouble and money by offering them more medical services. "I like my job and everything that I do now," she said.

Zhou's outstanding performance as a rural doctor has won her several honors. She was named "an excellent rural doctor in Beibei District" in 2007, and in January 2013, she stood out among 500 candidates to be listed as one of the top 10 Most Admired Rural Doctors by CCTV.

Doing good deeds

Winners of the annual Touching China Award are selected from the persons who have either done good deeds or attracted widespread public attention for their contribution. According to CCTV, they have either promoted social progress and equity, made outstanding contribution to the country, dedicated themselves to their jobs, or moved others with their deep love for their family.

The top 10 winners of the 2012 Touching China Award include public figures such as Luo Yang, the late aircraft designer who died from overwork while developing the J-15 carrier-borne fighter for the country's nascent Liaoning aircraft carrier, and Lin Junde, a scientist who dedicated his entire life to China's nuclear development. They also include ordinary persons such as Zhou and Ai.

In recent years, there have been growing complaints saying that, as the country transforms from planned to market economy, people have also become more profit-oriented and self-centered.

China's rapid economic growth has not only taken a toll on the environment, but also on people's moral standards, said Du Ziling, a professor in Nankai University in Tianjin City.

In October 2011, 18 pedestrians nonchalantly walked past a 2-year-old girl nicknamed Yueyue who was run over by a van, raising deep public concern over degrading morality in the country. Eventually the girl was pulled to safety by a garbage collector, and died in a hospital one week later.

By granting the Touching China Award, CCTV hopes to inspire more people to help others and contribute to society.

Wu Juping, winner of the 2011 Touching China Award, saved the life of a 2-year-old girl falling from the 10th floor of a building in July 2011 in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, by catching her in her arms.

After Wu's story was widely covered, several people in various places of the country have followed her example and saved children falling from buildings.

In December 2011, four migrant workers in Zhumadian in central Henan Province cushioned a 5-year-old boy falling from a billboard outside the second floor of a building with their arms, according to local Dahe Daily.

On January 27, 2012, Xie Shangwei, a 28-year-old in Shuangcheng, northeastern Heilongjiang Province, saved an 11-year-old boy who slipped down from the window sill of his fifth-floor home while lighting a firecracker, reported Xinhuanet.com.

On March 25, 2012, in Zhejiang's Shaoxing, then 39-year-old Zhang Zhengyong caught in his arms a 2-year-old girl who fell from her third-floor home, reported local internet portal Zjol.com.cn.

Email us at: wanghairong@bjreview.com

Other 2012 Award Winners

Lin Junde, a renowned academician, had been devoted to nuclear research for about five decades until he died of cancer in May 2012 at the age of 74.

Chen Binqiang, a 38-year-old rural teacher in Pan'an County, east China's Zhejiang Province, brought his Alzheimer's-stricken mother to the rural school where he taught between 2007 and 2012 and took care of her during class breaks.

He Yue, a student in Guilin, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, saved three lives with organ donations after she died of a brain tumor in November 2012, at the age of 12.

Chen Jiashun, an official in Zhanyi County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, went undercover several times after 2007 to get an understanding of the labor conditions of migrant workers.

Gao Shuzhen, a 56-year-old rural woman, has run a charitable school for disabled children for 14 years in Luannan County, north China's Hebei Province.

Zhang Lili, a young teacher in Jiamusi, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, pushed two students away from an approaching bus and lost both legs in the process on May 8, 2012.

Li Wenbo, a 48-year-old soldier, has guarded the reefs in the South China Sea for 97 months in the past two decades and collected a large amount of hydrological and weather data.

Kao Bing-han, a 78-year-old Chinese mainland-born lawyer in Taiwan, has brought ashes of more than 100 military veterans who came to the island with the Kuomintang in 1949 to their relatives on the mainland in the past decades.

Luo Yang, late Chairman and General Manager of Shenyang Aircraft Corp. and lead engineer of the J-15 carrier-borne fighter development program, died of a heart attack at the age of 51, shortly after watching the aircraft's first landing on the country's new aircraft carrier.

Mekong River 10/5 Case Special Task Force, led by 53-year-old Li Yaojin, currently Executive Deputy Director of the Office of the China National Narcotics Control Commission, successfully captured Naw Kham, a Myanmar drug lord who masterminded the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River on October 5, 2011.

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