Guo Mingyi: Modern Lei Feng

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Guo inspects road conditions in a mining area. Before being elected a delegate to the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Guo arrived at his office two hours early every day to study before work. by Yang Qing/Xinhua

Guo Mingyi has made a name for himself in Liaoning Province, where legendary Lei Feng is buried, by helping those in need.

Lei Feng was a young Chinese soldier known for his devotion to selflessly helping the needy in the 1960s. He was killed by a falling pole while helping a fellow soldier direct a truck in August 1962. After his death, Chairman Mao Zedong urged everyone to learn from him. Since then, the spirit of Lei Feng (known as selflessness, modesty and dedication) has influenced generations of Chinese people.

Guo Mingyi works for Qidashan Mine, a subsidiary of Anshan Iron and Steel Group in Liaoning Province. He became a national role model for his work that was inspired by Lei Feng. After three decades of dedication to helping others, such as donating more than 60 liters of blood, Guo was honored as a “modern-day Lei Feng” in early 2012. He founded two groups dedicated to blood donation and persuaded 1,700 people to donate bone marrow to leukemia patients.

In recent years, Guo has reached out to help more people in more fields. He launched a program to help 146 poor households in Jianchang County, Liaoning Province, improve their housing conditions. A total of 156 volunteer groups named after Guo have amassed donations of nearly 3.57 million yuan (US$535,152) to help others live in new houses. “Although targeted poverty alleviation is not my job, I can play a role because it is a key focus of the Party,” Guo said.

Guo’s eponymous volunteer group has grown from a few dozen members when it was founded in 2009 to a network with more than 700 branches and a total of 1.7 million people.

Alongside serving as a delegate to the 18th and 19th CPC National Congress, Guo is also an alternate member of the 18th CPC Central Committee. In 2013, he was named part-time vice-chairman of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

As Guo’s roles have changed, his affinity for khaki uniforms has remained constant. “I have been busier as a delegate in the past five years,” Guo remarked while filing documents evidencing his efforts to resolve people’s problems. 

Before being elected a delegate to the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Guo insisted on arriving at the office at 5 a.m. for two hours of study before starting a day’s work. Despite his fame, Guo has remained humble. “Do not throw my name around,” he stressed to his friends and relatives. “You are responsible to yourselves.”

His generous spirit extends into his home life. Guo never hosted feasts, not even when his daughter married or had children. Instead, he donated his televisions three times and once in 2013 gave away his house to a poverty-stricken family.

In only a year, Guo will retire at the age of 60, but he insists that he will continue to donate blood. Although medical professionals suggest those over age 55 quit donating blood, Guo looks forward to having the time to give more after retirement.

Before the 19th CPC National Congress, Guo traveled to Beijing on September 26 to deliver a keynote speech at the Great Hall of the People. The speech’s theme was fitting: Combining the Chinese Dream with Personal Dreams. “I will continue to offer a hand and do my part to help the needy, which only improves our society as a whole,” asserted Guo.

 (Based on reports from China Daily and

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