Fang Zhimin [File photo/Xinhua]
Xi has told the story of Fang Zhimin, a patriot and revolutionary, on many occasions.
Fang Zhimin was born in East China's Jiangxi province in 1899. When Fang joined the Communist Party of China in March 1924, he expressed his determination to devote himself to the revolutionary cause: "From now on, everything of mine, even my life, is devoted to the Party."
Fang was captured by Kuomintang troops in 1935 in a battle. To the surprise of the Kuomintang soldiers who body searched him in the hope of finding some valuables, Fang, a high-level official of the Red Army, carried not a single copper or costly item, except an old fountain pen and a watch.
As Fang wrote in an essay, Honest Poverty, which he penned in prison, "To remain honest though poor, to live a clean and simple life – that is what we revolutionaries count on to overcome innumerable difficulties!"
Fang was killed in Nanchang in the same year, at the age of 36.
Xi said he has read Fang's Honest Poverty many times. "Every time I read it, I felt inspired and educated," Xi said.
"The article illustrated the love and hate of the old-generation communists; answered the question of 'What is real poverty and richness?' 'What is the greatest joy of a revolutionary?' 'What is the noble belief of a revolutionary?' 'How can men live a valuable life?" Xi said.