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Jimmy Carter to receive hospice care

By ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-20 06:52

FILE PHOTO: Former US President Jimmy Carter takes questions from the media during a news conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, US August 20, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

Stalwart champion of country's ties with China returns home in final days

Jimmy Carter, 98, the oldest living former US president, has opted to spend his final days at his Georgia home, receiving hospice care, his namesake nonprofit foundation says.

"After a series of short hospital stays, former US President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention," the Carter Center said.

"He has the full support of his family and his medical team. The Carter family asks for privacy during this time and is grateful for the concern shown by his many admirers."

Carter, the country's 39th president, from 1977 to 1981, has overcome serious health problems in recent years, most notably when he announced in 2015 that he had brain cancer, but late that year declared he was cancer free after treatment, according to US media reports.

The Carter Center did not say what prompted the nonagenarian to forgo "additional medical intervention".

One of his grandsons, Jason Carter, tweeted late on Saturday: "I saw both of my grandparents yesterday. They are at peace and — as always — their home is full of love."

Carter had been a farmer, a naval officer, a Sunday school teacher, an outdoorsman, a democracy activist, a builder, and governor of Georgia before being elected president, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

"One of the most compelling facets of my life has been my relationship with China," Carter recalled in his book A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.

He wrote that his four years in the White House were the pinnacle of his political life, on which he looked back with peace and satisfaction, knowing that he had done his best with "some notable accomplishments".

Those accomplishments include overseeing the normalization of diplomatic relations between the US and China in 1979.

In a White House diary entry dated March 29, 1977, Carter noted "the People's Republic of China was formed on October 1 (my birthday)".

As it turned out, Carter had always sent congratulatory messages — in a timely fashion — to mark the founding of the People's Republic of China on National Day.

In June 2019, the George H. W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations presented to Carter the inaugural George H. W. Bush Award for Statesmanship in US-China Relations, in recognition of his "monumental and enduring contributions" to advancing US-China relations.

"President Bush and I agreed that the relationship between the United States and China is of utmost importance," Carter said in a statement read at the awards ceremony in Atlanta.

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