Published: 21:33, June 4, 2023 | Updated: 21:33, June 4, 2023
Xi calls for efforts to build modern Chinese civilization
By Xinhua

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, participates in a meeting on cultural inheritance and development, and delivers an important speech in Beijing on June 2, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended a meeting on cultural inheritance and development on Friday and made an important speech. He stressed that it is our new cultural mission in the new era to further promote cultural prosperity and develop a great culture in China and a modern Chinese civilization from a new starting point. It is imperative to have greater confidence in our own culture, shoulder the mission, work diligently and proactively, and make concerted efforts to create a new culture of our times and build a modern Chinese civilization, Xi said.

To ensure that the meeting would be fruitful, Xi visited the China National Archives of Publications and Culture (CNAPC) and the Chinese Academy of History.

Cai Qi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, accompanied Xi on the visits and presided over the meeting.

On Thursday afternoon, Xi took a car to the headquarters of the CNAPC that sits at the foot of the Yanshan Mountains in Changping District of Beijing. Made up of the headquarters and three branches in the cities of Xi'an, Hangzhou and Guangzhou, the CNAPC facilitates the planning and coordination of the country's publications resources, organizes the work to survey and collect such resources, and also preserves and exhibits them. It organizes research into them and related exchanges, as well as the promotion and utilization of them. Xi first walked into the Wenhua Hall and was briefed on the planning and construction of the CNAPC. He visited the national library, the Inception of Chinese Civilization: Exhibition of Ancient Chinese Publications and Cultural Articles, and the exhibition of fine works and special copies of contemporary Chinese publications. Then in Wenhan Ge (pavilion), Xi carefully examined the Classic Publications Exhibition of Marxism Localization and Modernization, and asked from time to time about the collecting and sorting of archives in this regard. Then he ascended to the terrace on the fifth floor to take a bird's-eye view of the CNAPC. Xi then visited Lantai Cave and watched exhibitions on block printing collections of Tripitaka in the Han, Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchu languages, and collections of the "Complete Library in Four Sections" or "Siku Quanshu," where he learned about how the collections of premium publications are preserved in the CNAPC. Xi stressed his great concern about the precious editions of classics in Chinese civilization, which have survived the vicissitudes of the times. Xi said that the CNAPC is a project he approved in person and he is quite concerned about its development. The original aspiration for building the CNAPC is to collect and preserve as many as possible the various kinds of copies of Chinese classics since ancient times, and pass on the Chinese civilization, the only one that has never been disrupted in its continuity in the world. In an era of national prosperity and social stability, we have the will and capacity to carry forward Chinese culture, and we should accomplish this great undertaking well. Xi said that he affirmed and was satisfied with the construction and management of the CNAPC. He said the collection and preservation of copies of ancient classics are the main tasks of the CNAPC, requiring the CNAPC to strengthen its work on collecting, categorizing and preserving the classics. He urged the CNAPC to do a good job in conducting research into the collected classics to better preserve them. While performing its major tasks, the CNAPC should support relevant departments on research and exploration of various copies of historical classics. In a word, building the CNAPC is a fundamental program for building a country with a great civilization, and a landmark cultural project that calls for our efforts and will bring boons for future generations.

Xi took a car to the Chinese Academy of History on Friday afternoon. Major work of the academy includes leading nationwide research on history, integrating resources and forces to formulate plans on research into the Chinese history in the new era, and organize and launch major national academic projects on the study of history. Xi walked into the Chinese Archaeological Museum in the compound, where he visited the themed exhibitions Origin of Civilization and The Making of China. He learned about the major archaeological discoveries of the Neolithic Age and the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties, and once in a while he would inquire about the developments of relevant research work. Afterwards, he examined some rare ancient books and documents housed in the academy, and listened to a report on relevant work in front of the Research Achievements Exhibition of the academy. Xi stressed that archaeology is essential if we are to know about the long history of Chinese civilization and experience the profound Chinese culture. He called for down-to-earth endeavors on such major projects as "A Comprehensive Study on the Origin and Early Development of Chinese Civilization" and "Chinese Archaeology," in order to do a good job on the research and explanation about the origin of Chinese civilization. In more than four years' time since its establishment, the academy has organized a series of national-level major research programs and academic projects and attained some high-quality results, which, Xi said, is praiseworthy. Xi hoped that the academy will carry forward the fine traditions, pool the strength of historical researchers across the country and keep improving research capability, so as to contribute more wisdom and strength in historical science to the development of Chinese modernization.

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits an exhibition hall of the China National Archives of Publications and Culture, and learns about the preservation of classic publications in its collection in Beijing, on June 1, 2023.  (PHOTO / XINHUA)

After the inspection, Xi attended a meeting on the inheritance and development of Chinese culture at the academy. Those who delivered presentations at the meeting include Yang Geng, professor at Beijing Normal University; Wang Bo, vice president of Peking University; Peng Gang, vice president of Tsinghua University; Xing Guangcheng, director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Fan Di'an, president of the China Artists Association; and Mo Lifeng, senior professor in humanities and social sciences from Nanjing University.

After hearing the presentations, Xi made an important speech. He stressed that Chinese culture has a long and continuous history and Chinese civilization is extensive and profound. A profound understanding of the history of Chinese civilization is essential to promoting the creative transformation and innovative development of fine traditional Chinese culture in a more effective manner, pushing ahead with the building of a cultural sector with Chinese characteristics more strongly and developing a modern Chinese civilization.

Xi noted that China's fine traditional culture is comprised of many important elements, which have formed the prominent features of Chinese civilization. The fact that Chinese civilization is highly consistent is the fundamental reason why the Chinese nation must follow its own path. If one does not learn about China from the continuity of its long history, there is no way for him or her to understand ancient China, modern China, or China in the future. Chinese civilization is exceptionally innovative, which explains why the Chinese nation upholds fine traditions but never blindly sticks to old ways, and respects the fine traditions but never indiscriminately restores old traditions. It is also the reason why the Chinese nation is fearless of new challenges and is always open to new things. Chinese civilization is characterized by strong uniformity, which is why different ethnic cultures of the Chinese nation are integrated, and can rally close together even when faced with major setbacks. It determines the common belief that the homeland cannot be divided, the country cannot be destabilized, the ethnic groups cannot be separated, and the civilization cannot be disrupted. It also determines that national unification always stays at the heart of China's core interests and a strong and unified country is the pillar upon which the well-being of all Chinese people depends. Chinese civilization is inclusive, which fundamentally determines the historical orientation of the Chinese nation featuring exchanges and integration, the harmonious coexistence of diverse religious beliefs in China, and the openness of Chinese culture to world civilizations. The peaceful nature of Chinese civilization fundamentally determines that China will continue to build world peace, contribute to global development and safeguard the international order, and that it will continue to pursue exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations rather than cultural hegemony. It also determines that China will not impose its own values and political system on others. China is a champion of cooperation, not confrontation. Never will it dish out favors to acolytes and punishments to opponents.

Xi stressed that it is natural to integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China's specific realities and fine traditional culture if we are to create and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics on the basis of the profound Chinese civilization of more than 5,000 years. This is the understanding we have drawn from our exploration of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the key to our success. First, compatibility is the prerequisite for integration. Although Marxism and fine traditional Chinese culture have different origins, they are highly compatible with each other. Compatibility facilitates integration. Second, the result of the integration is mutual benefit, giving rise to a unified new culture that enables Marxism to become Chinese, and fine traditional Chinese culture modern. The newly-minted culture through integration has become the cultural form of the Chinese path to modernization. Third, the integration solidifies the foundation of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, providing it with broader and deeper historical depth and enriching its cultural basis. Chinese modernization invigorates Chinese civilization with modern power, while Chinese civilization supports Chinese modernization with cultural sustenance. Fourth, the integration has opened up space for innovation and helped us maintain the initiative in our ideological and cultural work, exerting a powerful influence on our path, theory and system. What is more important is that integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with China's fine traditional culture means another effort to emancipate our minds, which makes it possible for us to make full use of the precious resources of fine traditional Chinese culture in broader cultural space in exploring theoretical and institutional innovation for the future. Fifth, the integration has consolidated the principal role of culture, with the establishment of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era being the most vivid example. Integrating the basic tenets of Marxism with China's fine traditional culture has resulted from our thorough review of the historical experience drawn from adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times. It showcases that we have profoundly grasped the laws governing the development of Chinese civilization. It demonstrates that our Party's understanding of the Chinese path, theory and system has reached a new height, and so has our Party's confidence in our history and culture, as well as our Party's consciousness in promoting cultural innovation when carrying forward fine traditional Chinese culture.

Xi noted that since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee, while leading the Party and the people to govern the nation, has placed the promotion of culture in an important position of our overall work, and kept deepening understanding in this regard. A series of new ideas, viewpoints and judgments have been put forward. These important viewpoints are theoretical reviews of experience from the practice of cultural promotion under the Party's leadership in the new era. They are the fundamental guidelines for doing a good job in our publicity, ideological and cultural work. We must adhere to and implement them over the long term and continue to update and develop them.

Xi called for efforts to continuously promote cultural prosperity and build a great culture in China and a modern Chinese civilization from a new historical starting point. To do all these, Xi said that we need to develop an independent cultural psyche, which requires greater confidence in our own culture and adherence to our own path. To have such a psyche, we also need to draw on what the Chinese nation has achieved in the past and at present, summarize Chinese experiences with Chinese wisdom, and develop Chinese experiences into Chinese theories, Xi said. We must continue to be open and inclusive, adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times, inherit and develop fine traditional Chinese culture, adapt foreign cultures to China's context, and continuously cultivate and create a socialist culture with Chinese characteristics in the new era. Efforts must be made to uphold fundamental principles and break new ground, carry forward the fine historical traditions and write a new chapter for our times with positive energy and a pioneering spirit.

When presiding over the meeting, Cai Qi pointed out that General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech made a comprehensive, systematic and in-depth explanation of a series of major theoretical and practical issues regarding the inheritance and development of Chinese culture from the perspective of the overall strategic development of the Party and the country. His speech is of political, ideological, strategic and guiding significance. It is necessary, along with the ongoing theoretical study program, to conscientiously organize study sessions on the gist of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech in a bid to more deeply understand the significance of the establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We must strengthen our commitment to the "Four Consciousnesses", the "Four-sphere Confidence" and the "Two Upholds". Under the guidance of the gist of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech, we should constantly deepen our understanding of the regularity of cultural development and be committed to our cultural mission, Cai said. Research and interpretation should be strengthened in this regard, and theoretical knowledge should be applied into practice. We must fully implement the strategic arrangements of the 20th CPC National Congress on publicity, ideological and cultural work, and have greater confidence in our own culture and strengthen self-improvement, in order to solidly promote the building of a modern Chinese civilization and develop a great culture in China.

Li Shulei, Tie Ning, Shen Yiqin, Qin Gang, Jiang Xinzhi and others were on the visits. Members of the Central Leading Group for Publicity, Ideological and Cultural Work, leading officials of the relevant central Party and government departments, leading officials of various units of the central publicity and cultural sector, and representatives of relevant experts and scholars attended the meeting.