Chen Lihua makes a donation to Jiangnan University, April 4, 2019. （Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn）
The spring of 2019 has been long awaited. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and as we take stock of life during spring, we can look forward to welcoming the 70th national day come autumn.
Residents of Shanghai have endured a particularly cold, wet winter, and with the weather brought by spring, they're now enjoying the sunshine and flowers.
One Shanghai resident has marked the season by making two donations of 200,000 yuan – one to the Communist Party of China in the form of special membership dues, the other to the university in his hometown, Jiangnan University.
On April 2nd the 90-year-old man, together with his daughter and son-in-law, who had traveled all the way from Canada to be with him, made the first of his donations, taking a five-minute walk to his former work unit, Shanghai Textile Science Research Institute. Two days later, they went to Wuxi, Jiangsu and made the second.
Who is he? Why is he so generous? Why does he love the Party and his hometown so much? To understand all of this, we have to go back to his early childhood, the aid he got as a student, and the decisions he made upon graduation.
In 1932 a boy named Chen Lihua left Japan at the age of two with his parents after Japanese invaders upped their military aggression in Northeast China. The family went back to their hometown, Wuxi, and settled down.
By studying hard, young Lihua was admitted to a local vocational school, on which a predecessor of today's Jiangnan University was built. His mom could barely afford his education, but through the support of local charities and teachers, he completed his textile engineering education in the spring of 1949.
That was when the country was being liberated from Nationalist rule. Seeing the ray of hope, Lihua joined the CPC and has been a firm Marxist ever since. Later he was transferred to Shanghai due to his technical background, and worked in the textile sector until his retirement in the early 1990s.
Because he was born in a foreign country and later returned home to China, Lihua was identified as a returned overseas Chinese, of which he is especially proud. Due to his unique early childhood, he has developed a particular affection for his motherland.