BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- On the first day after China's New Year holiday, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the first order of the Central Military Commission (CMC) in 2022, declaring the start of military training for the year.
The mobilization order asked all armed forces officers and soldiers to fear neither death nor hardship in their training, to boost their command and fighting capability and encourage excellent conduct.
The spirit of fearing neither death nor hardship is a motto passed on from a celebrated Chinese soldier from the 1960s, of whom Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the CMC, speaks highly over the years.
Wang Jie, a sapper squad head at the time, won multiple honors for his outstanding performance during his service in the Army. He died in 1965 at just 23-years-old while trying to protect 12 people in an explosion.
Two months before the accident, Wang wrote in his diary that he was determined to "be fearless of hardship and death, and be a dauntless man." He honored his pledge.
Wang's heroic spirit was extolled by Chairman Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders of different generations. He was honored as a model soldier.
In December 2017, during his first inspection of the military after the 19th CPC National Congress, Xi visited the company where Wang served, sat with the soldiers and talked with them.
"I heard about Wang's story when I was very young, and Wang is a hero in my heart," Xi told the soldiers.
During that talk, Xi asked about the soldiers' study, training and whether their life necessities are properly guaranteed.
"A military is built to fight, and it should live up to this mission," Xi said, stressing that Wang's fearless motto is and always will be treasured by the military.
The bond between the top commander, the fallen hero and ordinary soldiers goes beyond that visit. More than one year later, Xi wrote a letter in response to correspondence from Wang's squad, encouraging the soldiers to be outstanding soldiers in the new era. The same year, during the New Year speech to ring in 2020, he mentioned Wang's name again.
Just as the soldiers of Wang's troop sing: "the gun of Wang Jie is on our shoulders; the song of Wang Jie is sung by us," the heroic spirit lives on.