Xi Focus-Closeup: Kazakh man’s enduring gift of love, life touches Xi

Xinhua News

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-05-09 16:31:15


Xinhua News

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) — In April 2022, Ruslan Tulenov, a young man from Kazakhstan, had the opportunity to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter’s visit to China’s island province of Hainan.

This was not the first time that Ruslan’s name had appeared alongside that of the president.

During a speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University in 2013, Xi shared Ruslan’s story of donating rare RH-negative blood, also known as “panda blood,” to Chinese patients.

At the time, Ruslan was a student at Hainan University, and he never imagined that his rare blood type would become a symbol of friendship between China and his home country.

Having developed a strong interest in China and its culture through watching Chinese TV series and movies since childhood, Ruslan traveled to China for the first time in 2008. Hainan was one of his stops.

The 16-year-old fell in love with the island during his very first visit. The warm, humid climate and the wondrous sea are quite different from anything in the inland town where he grew up. One year later, Ruslan started learning Chinese at Hainan University.

While volunteering as a blood donor with his Chinese friends in 2009, Ruslan discovered that he had RH-negative blood, which is only found in 0.1 to 0.3 percent of the Chinese population and is in high demand to save lives.

For the next 13 years, he donated blood twice a year, contributing over 6,000 milliliters in total. This is about 1.5 times the amount of blood found in an adult.

Ruslan even left his contact details with blood banks for emergency situations. In 2017, a patient in Langfang, north China’s Hebei Province, urgently needed a transfusion of “panda blood” after a caesarean section. Ruslan responded promptly to the call for help, traveling to Langfang and donating 400 milliliters of blood.

Even after a decade, Ruslan still feels deeply moved when he recalls the moment he learned that his simple act of kindness had been mentioned by the Chinese president when addressing his fellow countrymen.

“It was such a tremendous encouragement for me. I have made a personal commitment to study and work hard, making my share of contributions to the Kazakhstan-China friendship. I won’t let the president down,” Ruslan said.

According to Xi, Ruslan’s story is just one episode in the epic of friendly exchanges between the people of China and Kazakhstan.

Ismail Daurov, a Kazakh student, was also lauded by Xi for his volunteer work during the COVID-19 response in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Meanwhile, Kazakh ophthalmologist Saulebek Kabilbekov earned Xi’s admiration for treating Chinese patients in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang for over two decades.

Since establishing bilateral diplomatic ties 31 years ago, the China-Kazakhstan friendship has put down deep roots, bringing the two peoples closer through expanding exchanges.

At present, there are five Confucius Institutes established in Kazakhstan, providing Chinese language training for over 3,000 people each year, while four universities in China have opened institutes on Kazakhstan studies and two have added the Kazakh language as a major.

By the end of 2021, the cumulative number of international students studying in each other’s countries had reached 15,100.

The China-Central Asia Summit is set to take place in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, on May 18 and 19, and will be chaired by Xi. The summit holds the promise of enhancing mutual understanding and fostering future exchanges between the Chinese and Central Asian peoples through tangible initiatives.

After completing graduate and postgraduate programs in China, Ruslan now works for the Hainan Provincial Bureau of International Economic Development as a global media officer. He is responsible for promoting Hainan’s Free Trade Port to a wider audience.

“Thanks to the increasing openness of China and the growing bond between our two nations, individuals like me have the chance to seize the opportunities presented by bilateral people-to-people exchanges and lead fulfilling lives,” Ruslan said.  ■

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