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Top leaders pay final farewell to Israel Epstein
2005-06-03 06:28:55 Xinhua English

BEIJING, June 3(Xinhuanet)-- A memorial ceremony was held at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery here Friday for journalist Israel Epstein, who died in Beijing at age 90 on May 26.

Top leaders Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin and Li Changchun were among the many officials attending the ceremony.

Epstein's body was cremated after the funeral service.

President Hu praised Epstein for the "outstanding contributions" to China's progress and his "sincere affection for China and the Chinese people." Epstein had witnessed all the phases of China's revolution, construction and reform under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun, Luo Gan and other senior officials visited Epstein when he was seriously ill, or expressed comfort in various forms to his family members after his death. On April 17, Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a special visit to Epstein to extend greetings on the eve of his 90th birthday.

Born to a Jewish family 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 served as an 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 a correspondent of the United Press and the Allied Labor News of the United States, Epstein visited northwest China's Shaanxi Province and Shanxi-Suiyuan Anti-Japanese Base Areas, and interviewed Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and other CPC leaders. His major books include "The People's War in China," "The Unfinished Revolution in China" and "My China Eye-Memos of a Jew and a Journalist."

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