BEIJING, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- She was honored that Chinese President Xi Jinping praised her father's enduring commitment to further strengthen the friendship between the Chinese and Peruvian people, Lourdes Fernandez Esquivel, the older daughter of the renowned Peruvian journalist, told Xinhua.
Esquivel was shocked when Xi mentioned her father Antonio Fernandez Arce, a Peruvian friend of China, during his speech at Peru's Congress, and said "my father was a simple, humble man."
Born in Trujillo, in northern Peru in 1931, Arce was a born news reporter. He made a living from selling newspapers in his childhood, became a prominent journalist, and was honored as president of the Journalists' Association of Peru at the age of 25.
Starting from the 1960s, Arce made many trips to China and he was warmly welcomed by former Chinese leader Mao Zedong in 1960.
His frequent travels between China and Peru enabled him to present a real picture of the country to the Latin American people.
"CHINESE BLOOD" IN ARCE'S YOUNGER DAUGHTER'S VEINS
In 1970 Arce was busying translating highly confidential documents and had no time to take care of his newborn daughter Flor de Maria Fernandez, who was suffering from blood poisoning.
Upon learning this news, former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai immediately ordered the best doctors in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to attend to the baby.
Flor de Maria survived thanks to many Chinese soldiers who had donated blood to help save her.
ENVOY OF BUILDING CHINA-PERU TIES
Arce played a significant role in China's developing diplomatic relations with Peru.
Zhou talked to Arce about China's willingness to further develop the friendship with Peru before Arce returned to Peru to visit his sick father in 1970.
Zhou also expressed his hope that Arce could deliver some concrete ideas to Peru's authorities concerning building diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Arce conveyed Zhou's message to Peru's former president and was picked up by the president's driver as soon as he arrived in Peru.
Later, communication between China and Peru became available through Arce's help and he served as the consultant for Peru's commercial office in China.
China forged diplomatic relations with Peru on Nov. 2, 1971. Upon hearing the news, Arce was so excited his eyes glistened with tears.
CONSCIENTIOUS COPY EDITOR
Arce started his work as a copy editor for Xinhua News Agency in 1983.
He devoted his energy to his work, and when he was typing, the whole office echoed with the sound, said his colleagues, adding that they were inspired by the excited look on his face when he finished reports about China or polished an article.
Rigor and full concentration were his work attitude, Arce's colleague Ni Runhao said, adding that he was sincere but strict in training younger generations in translation and reporting.
"It is hard to find such a conscientious and strict copy editor," said Ni.
He wrote plenty of high-quality reports about China through in-depth interviews and research, which were frequently published in the foreign press.
Acre presented "Machu Picchu/The Great Wall: Monuments to Eternity" in 2011, 40 years after China and Peru established diplomatic relations.
He described the magnificent Great Wall with Latin American thinking in Chinese, English and Spanish.
The renowned journalist died at the age of 83 in his hometown on May 14, 2014. Xinhua paid its highest respects to him by calling him "an old friend of the Chinese people."