BEIJING - President Xi Jinping presented national medals and honorary titles of the People's Republic of China at the Great Hall of the People on Sunday morning and delivered a key speech.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, helped the awardees wear the medals and shook hands with them.
Recipients represent distinguished Chinese dedicated to the causes of the Party and people, Xi said after presenting the medals.
He also said that heroes show that greatness comes from the ordinary, and if we do all ordinary things well, we can lead an extraordinary life.
Xi called on honorees to continue working and influencing more people, and urged Chinese society to respect and learn from heroes.
The red and golden Medals of the Republic were awarded to individuals who made great contributions to the construction and development of the People's Republic of China, while the golden and blue Friendship Medals represented the long-standing friendship between the people of China and the rest of the world.
The medals for recipients of national honorary titles were granted to those who made outstanding contributions in various fields and sectors.
Children, who are members of Chinese Young Pioneers, presented flowers to the recipients.
During the presentation ceremony, the awardees were briefly introduced.
The ceremony started at 10:00 am, soon after Xi and other leaders walked into the venue of the ceremony with the awardees.
Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan attended the ceremony.
Wang Huning, who hosted the ceremony, read out the presidential decree signed by Xi to award 42 individuals the Medal of the Republic, the Friendship Medal or national honorary titles in different categories.