Star journalist leaves legacy of passion, integrity

Updated: 2011-08-09 09:52

(China Daily)

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BEIJING - Li Xing, China Daily's assistant editor-in-chief and veteran columnist, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on Aug 7 in Washington DC, US. She was 54.

Zhu Ling, editor-in-chief of China Daily, paying tribute to a longtime colleague, said Li "was a passionate journalist and a guiding force for many she worked with, and was totally dedicated to her job right till the very end".

Star journalist leaves legacy of passion, integrity

Li was struck by a cerebral hemorrhage when she was covering a US-China education exchange event in Washington on Thursday.

"She was a person of integrity and diligence. Throughout her three decades with China Daily she always worked on the frontline," Zhu said, adding that Li "spearheaded the launch and expansion of China Daily US Edition".

Li was also the paper's chief US correspondent at the time of her death.

"She was a tireless ambassador for China, helping build trust and bridges with the rest of the world, and raising mutual understanding," Zhu said.

Li was born in Berlin, Germany, on Aug 2, 1957, where her parents were working for the Chinese embassy. During 1976 and 1977, she worked in a Beijing factory and enrolled in Beijing Foreign Studies University when China resumed its national entrance examination for higher education in 1977.

She graduated in 1981 and, in the same year, joined China Daily when China's first national English-language newspaper was launched.

In 1986, she received her master's in journalism from Stanford University in the US.

She was a powerful voice for China Daily's features department, helping it become one of the paper's most popular sections. She was the department's assistant director during 1988-89 and deputy director during 1989-93. During 1993-2006 she headed the department and under her leadership feature writers won national news awards almost every year. She was director of the international news desk from 2006 to 2008.

Li also served as assistant editor-in-chief from 2002 and became China Daily's chief US correspondent in May.

Li's colleagues and friends said they were often struck by her passion for journalism. During her eight years as director of features, Li transformed the department and pushed for in-depth reports on topics ranging from women's rights to AIDS and environmental protection.

During her time at the international news desk, Li led a team covering China's major diplomatic events and reporting on international news from a Chinese angle, an editorial move considered a breakthrough in China Daily's international news coverage at that time. Li also interviewed many foreign leaders and traveled with Chinese leaders abroad to cover important diplomatic activities.

During her career, Li covered major events such as the World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, Hong Kong's return to the motherland in 1997, the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation in 2006 and the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

Li was also one of the key columnists at China Daily, writing since 2005 on a wide range of topics. Her last column about menial jobs that can help students grow into adults was published on Aug 5. Using her awareness of the political, social and cultural differences between China and the West, Li told fascinating stories about China. Her diligence won her respect in the journalism industry both at home and abroad. Eight times, Li won the China News Award, the highest award for news coverage in China. She also was honored as one of China's National 100 Best News Workers in 1997.

Li Xing is survived by her husband and daughter.