President Hu Jintao called on the China Welfare Institute (CWI) to contribute more to relief work for survivors of last month's massive earthquake in Sichuan Province, in his congratulatory letter marking the CWI's 70th anniversary.
The Shanghai-based organization marked seven decades of operation on Saturday. Senior leaders such as Hu and top political advisor Jia Qinglin sent congratulations to the celebration in Shanghai.
"Over the past seven decades, the CWI, founded by Soong Ching Ling, has done great work in maternal and child health, hygiene and education, and played a distinctive role in the country's development and reform," Hu, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, said in his letter.
"The CWI should work actively to provide more material support and psychological comfort to quake survivors by bringing its advantage into full play," Hu stressed.
Jia said in his letter that he hoped the CWI could make additional contributions to the building of a harmonious society and national reunification.
At the ceremony, the CWI set up a special fund of 20 million yuan (US$2.8 million) to help women and children affected by the massive quake disaster.
The CWI, which grew out of the China Defense League, was founded by Soong in Hong Kong on June 14, 1938.
Soong, born in Shanghai in 1893, was the wife of Chinese revolutionary Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who led the 1911 Revolution.
That Chinese democratic revolution overthrew the imperial Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and ended more than 2,000 years of feudal rule in China.
Soong was an outstanding stateswoman as a former honorary president of China and a renowned activist in public affairs. She contributed much to the cause of reunification of the motherland and the welfare of Chinese women and children. She died in Beijing on May 29, 1981.
Hu wrote that he hoped the CWI could carry forward the great spirit of Soong, who served the welfare of women and children wholeheartedly and worked unswervingly for the cause of women and children in China.
(Xinhua News Agency June 16, 2008)