NPC deputy reveals the power of reading

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Chen Tianzhu, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, is interviewed ahead of the fifth plenary meeting of the first session of the 14th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, March 12, 2023. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily]

For Chen Tianzhu, deputy editor-in-chief of Lanzhou-based magazine Duzhe (Readers' Magazine), the power of reading has always been clear and concrete.

The deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, the top legislative body, spoke about the story of her pen pal Xiaoyu on Sunday, during a delegates' passage interview at the sidelines of the two sessions.

The magazine Chen works for in Northwest China's Gansu province is one of the most widely read publications nationwide.

Chen got a letter from Xiaoyu one day in 2010, then a junior high school student who was not in good health but had to take care of her elderly grandmother and younger brother.

Lonely and suffering from people making fun of her, Xiaoyu learned to resume inner peace by immersing herself in reading. She got to know Chen when reading the magazine and the duo kept in contact via letters for two years.

Chen recommended works such as Ordinary World by Lu Yao and Temple of Earth and I by Shi Tiesheng, both highlighting perseverance drawn from an arduous life journey. Xiaoyu is now a Chinese language teacher.

"As a deputy from the publishing circle, I will always focus on the most simple but richest, most profound world of the words, and let more people feel the power of reading and writing," Chen said.

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