Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday paid a visit to veteran journalist and writer Israel Epstein, who interviewed Chairman Mao Zedong in the 1930s when working for US news organizations, to extend greetings on the eve of his 90th birthday.
Hu praised Epstein for his "outstanding contributions" to China's progress and his "sincere affection for China and the Chinese people" in the past dozens of years during which he witnessed all the stages of the country's revolution, construction and reform under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Epstein thanked Hu for the call and thanked the CPC Central Committee and State Council for attaching great importance to and taking good care of veteran foreign experts who have worked and lived in China for long.
He said his work concerns only one side of China's international influence. China's growing international influence is the result of China's tremendous progress, and this is just a beginning, Epstein added.
He presented to Hu his autobiography which was issued last year.
Hu praised Epstein for his abundant writings many of which give an objective and live introduction of China to the outside world.
For a long time, a large number of foreign experts have made important contributions to China's revolution and construction, and reflected the spirit of internationalism, said Hu, adding that the Chinese people will never forget their contributions.
Born on April 20, 1915, Epstein came to China with his parents at the age of two. He began to work for China's revolution in 1933 and became a Chinese citizen in 1957. The noted journalist and writer once served as editor-in-chief of China Reconstructs (China Today) magazine. From 1983 on, he has been elected member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body in China.
When serving as correspondent of the United Press and the Allied Labor News of the United States, Epstein visited North Shaanxi Province and Shanxi-Suiyuan Anti-Japanese Base Areas, and interviewed Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and other CPC leaders, along with a delegation of Chinese and foreign journalists.
His major books include From Opium War to Liberation, The People's War, The Unfinished Revolution in China and Tibet Transformed.
(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2005)