Notable figures of medicine, arts pass away

By CHEN NAN and ZHANG YI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-06-09 08:07
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China lost two outstanding figures in recent days who had made major contributions over many decades to the fields of medicine and the arts in the nation-Xin Yuling, a pioneer of thoracic surgery, and the well-known actor and director Lan Tianye.

Both were recipients of the July 1 Medal, the Communist Party of China's highest honor. The medal was conferred for the first time in 2021 as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the founding of the CPC.

Xin Yuling at his office in the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Medical trailblazer

Xin Yuling, a pioneer of thoracic surgery in China and the first president of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, passed away on Tuesday evening at the age of 101, the hospital said in an obituary on Wednesday.

The thoracic surgeon was awarded the July 1 Medal, the top honor of the CPC, last year for his contribution to the country's medical sector.

Xin was born in 1921 in Hebei province and had been a Party member since 1939.

He joined the Eighth Route Army in 1938 and the next year was sent to join the medical team of Henry Norman Bethune, the well-known Canadian doctor who served alongside the army during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

In 1951, he was sent to the Soviet Union to study medicine, as part of the first group of Chinese students sent abroad by the government, and returned to the country five years later with a doctoral degree. He then worked in an institution in Beijing to establish a thoracic surgery department.

From 1958 to 1980, he trained more than 1,000 thoracic surgeons and guided more than 40 hospitals to establish thoracic surgery, as many provinces in China were not equipped with thoracic surgery departments at the time.

In 1982, Xin was assigned to lead construction of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and became the first president of the hospital.

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