CCTV Report

CCTV National News Network Broadcast, March 2, 2018

Huai’an, Jiangsu Province, is the hometown of the late premier Zhou Enlai. On the 120th anniversary of his birth, a public exhibition is opening in honor of the former Premier. Over 60% of the objects and documents are being shown here for the first time. CCTV reporter Sheng Jinyu is at the Zhou Enlai Memorial Hall. Hello, Jinyu.

Your morning report described the Premier’s spirit this way: upright, aboveboard and honest. Please tell us more about his exceptional style and character.

First, let’s see — what’s the story behind the letter? In 1967, Zhou Enlai was working very hard. Though his health was declining, he often worked 23 hours a day without rest. Many people worried about him, but they didn’t know how to persuade him to slow down. Then someone came up with an idea: they wrote him a group letter, in which his entire staff urged him to change his lifestlye, to get to sleep early for his health. This letter was posted on his office door. In order to emphasize the importance of health, his wife Deng Yingchao added two Chinese characters meaning “change,” referring to his heart problems. Many people came to endorse this letter, and signed their names.

Some leading officials signed their names, as they passed his door to work in West Flower Hall. We can see such names as Ye Jianying, Chen Yi and Ye Rongzhen. And you know his response to this letter? Just eight words: “诚恳接受,要看实践” — which means that he was open to the advice but whether to take it or not depended on the situation; therefore, he would still work as hard as necessary when China needed him. He often said to people around him, that we should work hard and shoulder more responsibilities, while we enjoy life. He often used these words to motivate himself.

There are about 300 original, precious exhibits here. In order to mark the 120th anniversary of the late premier Zhou Enlai. The Memorial Hall, which was completed in 1992, has developed this special exhibition. Over 60% of the objects are being shown in public for the first time. A continuous stream of visitors is coming to the exhibition; there is no slow season here. Many international visitors are also coming, to show their respect for Premier Zhou.

During my stay today, I interviewed many visitors and they told me that they come back often to see what is new. We know that Zhou Enlai was the premier of China, responsible for foreign affairs for more than 20 years. In 1972, we recall the powerful story of Nixon’s visit to China. When Premier Zhou met President Nixon, Nixon helped Zhou take off his coat, which seemed to be inappropriate for a guest to do. This is that navy coat. Nixon’s action was caught by the cameras and reported to the international media, causing quite a stir in the community. Nixon then explained: he was moved by Zhou’s unparalleled character, so he instinctively wanted to help him take off his coat.

Zhou Enlai always showed calm and decisiveness without pretension. He had a graceful manner, and shared himself with a sense of ease. Zhou’s seriousness and frankness led to the signing of the Shanghai Communique between China and America. As the representative of China, Zhou dressed in this coat when the normalization of China-US diplomatic relations began. During his 20 years of service, Zhou Enlai established diplomatic relations with 107 foreign countries. The ideas he proposed, such as the five principles of peaceful coexistence, and seeking common ground while resolving differences, are still widely used today.

Looking back on his whole life, I believe that many visitors have the same feeling as I do. Zhou Enlai dedicated his studies “to the rise of China”; then he initiated the revolution for the founding of China, and then established China’s prestige in the global arena; and finally he bent his back for the rejuvenation of China. Today, we come here to recall his name and what he did for China in this new era. For us, he is immortal and an outstanding example for everyone in our work towards the continuing rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. His story inspires everyone. That’s all for today, from the Zhou Enlai Memorial Hall. Zhou Li.

Zhou Li, thank you for your report on Zhou’s character, nobility and style. His spirit encourages us to work harder, in order to realize our dreams.