INTRODUCTION: Madame soong Ching-Ling -- one of the historic figures of 20th century China -- made a rare appearance in Peking on Friday (8 May) when she received an honorary degree from Canada's Victoria University.
CU Madame Soong being dressed for ceremony. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN FROM Audience TO university officials speaking at investiture.
CU Madame soong receiving honourary degree from Iran McTaggart Cowan of Victoria university and signing official records. (2 SHOTS)
SV Audience applauds as Madame Soong receives red roses and congratulations. (2 SHOTS)
GV Audience applaud and Madame soong speaking. (3 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Madame soong Ching-Ling -- one of the historic figures of 20th century China -- made a rare appearance in Peking on Friday (8 May) when she received an honorary degree from Canada's Victoria University. Madame soong, now aged 90, is the widow of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, regarded as the father of modern China, who died in 1925.
SYNOPSIS: She is now confined to a wheelchair because of arthritis and was helped to dress before the ceremony in Peking's Great Hall of the People. One of a trio of famous sisters, Madame Soong was the only to be choose the Communist cause. She now holds the title of Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress -- China's parliament.
Madame Soong's younger sister Soong Mei-Ling married the late nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek and her elder sister married Dr. Hsiang-Hsi Kung, also a nationalist Chinese politician.
Despite her frailty, Madame Soong delivered a sharp criticism of the Soviet Union. She said the international situation was increasingly tense and turbulent and world peace was seriously threatened. And she stressed that the root cause lay in "expansion and aggression by hegemonism". Madame Soong spoke in English which she learned in 1915 while studying at an American college. The ceremony was clearly a strain for her but her message brought a big ovation from the audience.