Yang Liwei, who made an orbital flight in October to become China's first astronaut, has been made a new model for Chinese soldiers, according to a decree of the General Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The decree orders all members of the PLA and the Chinese People's Armed Police to learn from Yang and the whole brigade of Chinese astronauts.
Yang and the brigade are praised for their "heroic achievement" in accomplishing the country's first manned space voyage. Activities in various forms should be conducted to study the spirit of the astronauts, the decree says.
Yang became a new hero for all the Chinese people as soon as he completed his space journey. Since then, he has been touring the country, including trips to the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, to have face-to-face meetings with local people.
(People's Daily December 14, 2003)