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Exhibition pays homage to contribution of overseas Chinese

Updated: 2023-09-02 10:05 ( China Daily )
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Visitors admire exhibits at the Overseas Chinese History Museum of China in Beijing, which showcase their contributions to the country's development. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Overseas Chinese who returned and made significant contributions to the country's progress are being honored by an exhibition that highlights their input.

To mark the 11th National Congress of Returned Overseas Chinese and Their Relatives, which opened in Beijing on Thursday and will conclude on Sunday, the Overseas Chinese History Museum of China unveiled an exhibition charting the history of contributions by overseas Chinese to the country's development in Beijing on Aug 22.

Running through to Dec 31, the exhibition depicts a brief history of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and gives a glimpse into the lives of outstanding people in various fields, including Liang Sili (1924-2016), a rocket and missile system control scientist, Wu Mengchao (1922-2021), founder of the country's hepatobiliary surgery, and Lu Yonggen (1930-2019), an agricultural scientist.

"Through the exhibition, we hope that people can gain a better understanding of the role that the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese has played," Wan Lijun, chairman of the federation, said at the opening ceremony.

At the same time, he hopes more people at home and abroad can learn about the outstanding contributions that overseas Chinese have made, through photos, videos and items donated by their families.

Among the exhibits, there are more than 70 items of Liang Sili, which are donated by his daughter Liang Hong.

Born in Beijing in August 1924, Liang Sili was the youngest son of Liang Qichao, a reformist who lived during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Studying in the United States from 1941-49, Liang Sili returned to China, becoming one of the country's top space scientists. In 2013, he was named as "outstanding overseas Chinese" by the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council.

"These items, including my father's writings, reference books, suits and certificates, bear witness to his devotion to the country's space science sector and his patriotism," Liang Hong says.

In Liang Sili's handwritten article to commemorate the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, he wrote: "For many Chinese students studying abroad, like me, motherland is like a huge magnet, which is always attractive. … After returning to our country, we should contribute the knowledge we have learned to build the country, and completely integrate our career with the cause of the country. The driving force behind this is patriotism."

Liang Hong adds that her father's items will enable more visitors to learn about the endeavors of overseas Chinese during the early stage of the foundation of the People's Republic of China.

Just like Liang Hong, Wu Ling, daughter of Wu Mengchao, hopes that the exhibition can help more people trace her father's life and inherit his spirit through her donation of his items, including two sets of surgical gowns, a scalpel set and four pairs of forceps.

"My father completed more than 16,000 surgical operations, treating more than 20,000 patients, over his 75-year career," Wu Ling says.

Born in Fujian province in August 1922, Wu Mengchao moved to Malaysia with his family and after graduating from junior high school, he returned to China in 1940. In 1943, he was admitted to the Tongji University School of Medicine. As the first Chinese doctor to establish a theoretical basis for liver surgery, he was responsible for more than 30 major medical achievements using independent innovation.

"All his life, my father always wanted to make bigger contributions in his position as a surgeon," Wu Ling says.

Besides the touching stories of outstanding figures, the exhibition displays group photos taken at the National Congress of Returned Overseas Chinese and Their Relatives since the 1956 establishment of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese and the commemorative medal of the federation's founding meeting collected by Tang Mingzhao, the first deputy secretary-general of the United Nations and returned overseas Chinese from the US.

"Looking back into the past, we can see that the federation's development has followed the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and we will seek further achievements in the new era," Wan says.

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