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Lei Feng Spirit lives on

CPC Encyclopedia

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Editor's note 

    In its report issued in October 2011, the Sixth Plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee called for steps to promote the permanent implementation of the campaign to learn from Lei Feng. This is the third time that the campaign was promoted at the top leadership level. 
    The first big promotion of Lei Feng began in March 1963 as Chairman Mao Zedong made a personal call to learn from him. The second major efforts came in March 1990 when the Sixth Plenum of the 13th CPC Central Committee called for people to emulate him.

Lei Feng was a Mao-era soldier and is now a cultural icon symbolizing altruism, modesty, dedication and many other quality characteristics in China. Now the top Chinese leaders are exhorting people to emulate him in a bid to fight the downsides of economic development and market freedom, like money-worship, apathy, and lack of honesty and trust. This is one of the heaviest promotions of Lei Feng since he was held up as the ultimate "model worker" in 1963.

As the latest campaign will reach a climax on March 5 on the official "Learn from Lei Feng Day", this special coverage intends to help you understand who is Lei Feng, what's his cultural symbolization, what universal quality makes Lei Feng Spirit live on even after nearly half a century? [more]

Discussion: Do we still have to learn from Lei Feng?

Full coverage in video; 中文专题 (Full coverage in Chinese)

Who's Lei Feng and What's Lei Feng Spirit? 

Lei Feng in pictures

We offer a collection of photos showing him in real life, posters and appearing on memorablilia. [more]

Lei Feng Spirit lives on
Lei Feng in real life
Lei Feng Spirit lives on
Lei Feng in poster
Lei Feng Spirit lives on
Inscriptions from top leaders
Lei Feng Spirit lives on
Lei Feng appearing on commercial products

Lei Feng Spirit lives on Who is Lei Feng
    Lei Feng is the soldier of unsurpassed altruism who died in an accident in 1962 at 22. 
    On March 5, 1963, Chairman Mao Zedong initiated the "Learn from Comrade Lei Feng" campaign and encouraged the youth in China to follow his example. March 5 has since become the official "Learn from Lei Feng Day".  
Lei Feng Spirit lives on See who is Lei Feng in video
Lei Feng Spirit lives on Soundbites and quotes
    "It's my duty," Lei Feng always said when he was thanked by those who had received help from him.
Lei Feng Spirit lives on Selected diary of Lei Feng
Lei Feng Spirit lives on Lei Feng museum: Keep a legend alive (video)

Senior Chinese leader Li Changchun offered the latest annotation of the Lei Feng's spirit on Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012 at a national conference of publicity officials, Leng Kuan, a fellow soldier of Lei Feng and an ex-deputy political commissar of the navy, told the Beijing Times on Feb 20, 2012.

Li said that Lei Feng loves the Party, his motherland and socialism; furthermore, Lei still has four unique spirits: the spirit of dedication which spurs him to serve the people, professional ethics which makes him loving, devoted to and professional at whatever he does, the spirit of innovation which makes him forge ahead to achieve greatness, and the entrepreneurial spirit which makes him work hard and practice thrifty.

This is the Lei Feng's spirit in the new era. It also embodies the socialism core value system which is under construction. 

Lei Feng Spirit Evolves with Time

People from different decades gave 'Lei Feng Spirit' their own respective explanations.

1960s: Lei Feng related all goodness, and the "Lei Feng Spirit" symbolized truth, goodness and beauty. [more]

1970s: Lei Feng was especially praised for having a clearcut stand on what to love and what to hate. [more]

1980s: The theme was more about his ideal to be a small cog in the machine. [more]

1990s: The core of 'Lei Feng Spirit' is to serve the people whole-heartedly and to have selfless devotion at work. [more]

Why do we need to learn from Lei Feng now? 

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

"Lei Feng Spirit has its great practical significance in terms of guiding social morality and promoting honesty." [more]

- Leng Kuan

Former vice political commissar of the Navy and a former fellow soldier of Lei Feng

"If the youths do not hold core values, the country will have no future. And I hope the campaign to learn from Lei Feng can become softer and more sustainable." [more]

- Wu Qing

Professor with China Youth University for Political Sciences

Lei Feng Spirit lives on
Lei Feng Spirit lives on

"Corruptions, cheats and indifference rampage when social morality is rotten. In the past two big promotions of Lei Feng, in the 1960s and the 1990s, the social morality were greatly improved." [more]

- He Chaohai

Curator of Lei Feng Memorial Hall

"We promote Lei Feng Spirit because Lei Feng was both a hero and an ordinary person. His deeds in the daily life can be greatly imitated by average people." [more]

- Xing Huaqi

Compiler of the Collected Works of Lei Feng

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Who are Lei Feng's successors? 

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Although China is plagued with some "spiritual pollution" as a result of economic development and market freedom, there are ordinary people with extraordinary love in their hearts. In their own special ways, they have created a world of difference for those whom they have helped. They are living Lei Fengs in the new era.

There are also people who are devoted to their job, working like a small cog in the machine. They are also living Lei Fengs in the new era...

Read more in video

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Guo Mingyi

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Yang Shanzhou 

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Wu Juping 
Lei Feng Spirit lives onXu Yuehua

He has donated 60,000 milliliters of blood over the past two decades - equal to the amount of blood coursing through the veins of 10 adults. [more]

A retired grassroots government official spent his 22-year-long retirement planting trees on the once-barren mountains. [more]

She was called the "most beautiful mother" by netizens for saving a 2-year-old girl from falling down 10 floors.[more]

Being an orphan who lost both legs hasn't stopped Xu Yuehua from having a room full of her own children.[more]

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Alimjan Halik

Lei Feng Spirit lives on Zhang Pingyi

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Niu Zuotao

Lei Feng Spirit lives on Pang Yu

A kebab seller who donates almost all of his earnings - more than 100,000 yuan ($15,000) - to help needy people in Guizhou for a decade. [more]

A journalist-turned-volunteer from Taiwan started a foundation to help children in a leprosy-plagued village in the Chinese mainland.[more]

An ex-soldier who gave his life in a futile attempt to rescue a stranger. [more


Psychologist Pang Yu has provided mental support to AIDS patients since 2007. [more]


Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Gong Qinghai 

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Peng Xiansong and Lin Yingliang

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Wang Jicai and wife 

There are more... 

He was responsible for designing and testing the guidance system of a modified model of the Long March CZ-2F rocket. [more]


For over 30 years, they've dedicated themselves to a small rural clinic and have treated hundreds of patients in this village.[more]  

With no fresh water or electricity, a couple has been keeping guard on a barren island off Lianyungang, a coastal city in East China's Jiangsu province, for 25 years. [more

Click here for more successors;
Click here for more grassroots stories.
Click here for more stories in video.

Except for Chinese, there are also foreigners who are interested in Lei Feng, or follow the path of Lei Feng.

Lei Feng Spirit is by no means a totally new concept for foreigners. In some sense, it is close to volunteering, which also relates altruism and selfless devotion. [more]

American Leif follows path of Lei Feng

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Leif Rogers, an American living in Liaoning province, is among the legions of enthusiastic admirers of Lei Feng.

"Lei Feng, the most distinguished soldier in China, was just a common private who drove a truck. That is why I was so attracted to him."

"You can take everything from Lei Feng, but the bottom line is his giving spirit. Now and forever, people need this quality." [more] Related: Legendary tale offers lessons for all, says US teacher

An American volunteer in China 

Lei Feng Spirit lives onAmerican David Deem has been in Dongxiang Autonomous County in northwest China's Gansu Province since 2000, voluntarily helping with the elementary education of children.

"What did I come here for? I had been a teacher in the US, Japan, and later on in big Chinese cities like Zhuhai and Lanzhou. Everything was okay, and so why should I choose to come to Dongxiang? People often tend to move up into higher positions, but I, to the contrary, am moving gradually lower. But, as you know, Dongxiang is probably the weakest in China in terms of elementary education. I just came to offer my help." [more]

African youths showcase volunteer spirit in China

Tambe Bawack, a 28-year-old student from Cameroon believed being a volunteer in China helped him integrate with the society and enriched his life substantially.

Bawack's experience was shared by Kaleb from Ethiopia, who came to study in Hebei University of Economics and Business in 2003. The two were in almost every volunteer service activities organized by the school, including tree-planting, environment protection, caring for the elderly in nurseries, teaching English to rural pupils, and so on. [more

How to learn from Lei Feng? 

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Official campaign

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Creative promotion 

China to stage programs promoting Lei Feng spirit

The Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee said nine programs will be launched to promote the spirit of Lei Feng (1940-62).                                  [more]

More stories

Lei Feng becomes online game hero

Lei Feng is no longer a hero only in real life. He is also the hero of an online video game, so-called "Learn from Lei Feng". To do good deeds, as many as you can, is the trick for passing each level in the online game starring Lei Feng. [more

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Scholar opinions

 Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

Lei Feng Spirit lives on

- Wu Qing, professor with China Youth University for Political Sciences 


Let's carry on Lei Feng Spirit 

New life has been breathed into Lei Feng at different periods of time since he was presented as an ideal for proper socialist behavior in 1963. He is now back in the spotlight as China is trying hard to revive civic morality and help define the core values of socialism.

Actually, much of Lei Feng Spirit is universal, like love and dedication, selflessness and hardworking.

"If you are a drop of water, do you moisten an inch of the land? If you are the first sunlight, do you illuminate the dark hours?" Lei Feng wrote in his diary. Likely, will you help those in need? Could you always uphold the principle of honesty and trust? Do you dare to defend the weak against the strong?

Maybe we are just doing our small part in helping others, such as book donations, giving up seats for the elderly. These acts seem trivial, but they are also ways to emulate Lei Feng, a common but great role model.

Let's carry on Lei Feng Spirit and build a more beautiful world. 

Join our discussion to relay love: Say no to indifference and relay our love to others

Examples of carrying on Lei Feng Spirit in video