Editor's Note: The third SCNU English writing contest, themed "Telling China’s Story", ended with 422 entries from 33 different schools. We congratulate all prize winners on their outstanding performance. Awarded winners have been announced (see results), and all winning entries will be published in this column.


By Huang Huiqing

Established in an era full of unrest and inspired by the Russian October Revolution, the Communist Party of China was the silver lining of this nation in agony. Led by the Party, the Chinese people have completed what has been considered as "mission impossible" in just a century through tenacious efforts—from a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society to a major player in the international community, and from a nation lacking of food, clothing and shelters to a society achieving moderate prosperity in all aspects. 

Those outstanding achievements have already been engraved on every Chinese's heart. It has always been the efforts of the Party members who dedicated themselves to serving the Chinese people wholeheartedly in the past and at present that make China ever stronger.

In November 1934, while the main force of the Red Army started marching into Yizhang from the south of Rucheng, Hunan Province, they suffered setbacks as Chiang Kai-shek had already foreseen their plan and sent people to intercept the Red Army. On a freezing rainy night, Xu Jiexiu, a poor countrywoman in the village opened the door and offered shelter to three female soldiers, who later found that Xu did not even have a quilt to keep herself from the cold. Therefore, before the three soldiers left, they cut their only quilt in half and gave one half to Xu.


A statue built in memory of the "Half a Quilt" story in Rucheng.

Xu passed this story to her children and grandchildren, reminding them the Party was a group of people who would share whatever they had to those in need regardless of the hardships waiting for them ahead. The "half-quilt spirit" marks the unfading virtue of selflessness and self-sacrifice of the Party, which has been inspiring its members for over 90 years later.

In 2020, just when everyone was getting ready to celebrate a delightful Chinese New Year, the COVID-19 outbreak caught us off guard. The unknown virus causing severe lung diseases was spreading at an unimaginable speed. As an expert in respiratory disease who led China to win the battle against SARS in 2003, and more importantly, as a member of the Party, Dr. Zhong Nanshan came forward again and cautioned all citizens against traveling to Wuhan, while he himself, at the age of 84, squeezed into the dining car of the earliest train possible and hurried to Wuhan at the most critical moment. 

When he was in Wuhan, he spared no efforts to identify the source of the virus, took care of patients in the hospitals and put forward practical approaches to fight against the pandemic. His presence in Wuhan surely boosted the morale of local doctors and nurses, inspiring millions of professionals across the country to follow his steps and provide aid as much as possible. Thanks to the selfless work of doctors and nurses, the pandemic was under control in a miraculous speed that stunned the whole world.


Dr. Zhong Nanshan squeezes into the dining car of the earliest train possible and hurried to Wuhan at the most critical moment.

As the youth in the new era, we should learn from those who dedicated themselves to safeguarding the peaceful and stable life of every Chinese. We might not be able to make contributions to matters of life and death, but each small step counts, as long as we bear the "half-quilt" spirit in mind. As university students, we should take an active role to care more about our classmates and help each other when they are in trouble. 

In addition, joining student organizations actively also provide us with valuable opportunities to undertake student work and contribute to the construction of our classes, our grades and even our schools. Looking at what we could offer the society, voluntary service is probably the most popular answer among many other things we could do. 

This semester, a large number of freshmen submitted applications to join the Party, hoping to become a member of this loving, caring and dedicating family. At the beginning of the semester, many volunteers in red waistcoats could be seen everywhere in South China Normal University to guide and answer questions for freshmen. Though seemed small, these daily actions would finally converge to make a difference.

In difficult times, the "half-quilt spirit" supported the older generations through ups and downs and it was their sacrifice that brought us such a peaceful and comfortable life. In the era of abundance, the youth of China should never forget the hardships once conquered and take up the responsibility of passing on the spirit with actions.

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