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China Celebrates Epstein's 90th Birthday

A colloquium for Israel Epstein, member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and honorary chief editor of China Today, was held on Wednesday in the Great Hall of the People.

More than 180 luminaries from around the world gathered to celebrate his 90th birthday. They included Gu Xiulian, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Hao Jianxiu, vice chairwoman of the CPPCC National Committee, and Zhao Qizheng, minister of the State Council Information Office.

Zhao Qizheng and other leaders spoke of Epstein's outstanding contributions to China's revolution and socialist construction and praised his internationalism and patriotism.

Epstein was born to a Jewish family in Poland on April 20, 1915. In 1917, his parents moved to China and settled in Tianjin in 1920. He grew up, studied and worked in China, and became a naturalized citizen in 1957.

He participated as a journalist in China's revolution and the Anti-Japanese War in the 1930s and 1940s, going to front-line bases and writing eyewitness accounts of the Chinese people who fought for national independence and liberation.

In May 1944, Epstein wrote more than 10 articles from the Yan'an headquarters of the Eighth Route Army in Shaanxi Province for periodicals overseas, predicting that Yan'an was the future and hope of China.

At the close of World War II, Epstein went to the US, where he wrote for the Allied Labor News until 1951, when he returned to work with Soong Ching Ling in Beijing to establish China Reconstructs (now China Today) magazine.

In April 2004 he published the Chinese edition of his autobiography, and the English version, A Memoir of More than 80 Years in China, is now complete.

An Epstein Photo Exhibition will be held at the Beijing Friendship Hotel beginning April 21, and the New World Press plans to publish a photo album Epstein soon.

(China.org.cn April 20, 2005)