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  Premier congratulates on leading scholar's birthday  

  

 

Premier Wen Jiabao paid tribute to China's intellectuals during a visit to Ji Xianlin, one of the country's leading academics, at the General Hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Sunday, to celebrate Ji's 95th birthday.


Premier Wen Jiabao paid tribute to China's intellectuals during a visit to Ji Xianlin, one of the country's leading academics, at the General Hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Sunday, to celebrate Ji's 95th birthday. [Xinhua]

Wen said the central authorities respected and acknowledged the contributions of all Chinese intellectuals.

Ji, a professor and former deputy president of the prestigious Peking University, is described as a man of letters, educator and statesman, but is widely known for his studies of ancient Indian languages and literature.

Since China began opening up in the late 1970s, he has written several autobiographical works, particularly on his experiences during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

Although he was deprived of political rights in the Cultural Revolution and once worked as a gatekeeper, Ji translated the many Sanskrit works into Chinese.

"Your books are not only a reflection of your own life, but also a reflection of the experiences of all Chinese intellectuals in the past century," Wen told Ji.

The premier acknowledged the country's debt to intellectuals. "China relies on knowledge, talents and intellectuals for its developments in science and technology as well as build a harmonious society," he said.

The two discussed the harmonious society, economic development, and democracy. Wen pointed out that in some ancient Chinese dynasties, many great thinkers and philosophers had emerged thanks to ideological emancipation.

At the end of the visit, Ji cut a birthday cake and shared it with Wen and others.

As he parted, Wen told him, "I keep your birthday clearly in mind. You write in your book that you were born into a farming family in Guanzhuang Village of Qingping County, Shandong Province, on August 6, 1911."

It was the premier's third visit to the aged scholar in the PLA General Hospital. The last two visits were in 2003 and 2005.

 

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