(11 January 1997)
The 6th Plenum of the 14th Party Congress made a strategic deployment concerning the fact that Socialist spiritual civilization construction in the present and future periods mainly is ideological, moral and cultural construction. Earnestly implementing the spirit of the 6th Plenum and letting Socialist literature and art flourish have an extremely important significance in incessantly satisfying the popular masses’ daily increasing spiritual and cultural requirements, raising the ideological, moral and cultural quality of the entire nation, and stimulating the construction of a Socialist material civilization and spiritual civilization.
I, The tendencies and tasks of literature and art work.
(1) Socialist literature and art are important component parts of our Party leading the undertakings of revolution and construction, and are important fronts in spiritual civilization construction. The unique forms and glamour of Socialist literature and art reflect the real life of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction, eulogize the aroused spirits of the masses’ creation of history, mould vivid and moving artistic images, and have an irreplaceable function in inspiring the spirit of the nation, moulding moral sentiments, raising aesthetic interests, enriching cultural life and guiding the people in pursuing the true, the good and the beautiful. Literature and art bear a glorious mission in fostering Socialist citizens that have ideals, morals, culture and discipline, and urging the popular masses to vigorously throw themselves into the undertaking of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics.
(2) The publication of the important speech that Comrade Deng Xiaoping made when inspecting the South in 1992 and the convention of the 14th Party Congress symbolize a new phase in our country’s reform, opening up and modernization construction. Deepening reform, broadening opening up and developing the Socialist market economy have poured new vitality into the literature and art undertaking. The broad literature and art workers are of one heart and one mind with the Party, are jointed together by blood with the people, spirits on the literature and art front are inspired, creation is flourishing, teams are expanding, and the undertaking is prospering. Literature and art structural reform has seen progress, management work has been strengthened, the quantity of literature and art works has increased, themes carriers, forms and styles have become much more varied, the main melody is becoming more prominent every day, the popular masses’ cultural lives are rich and varied. At the same time, literature and art work faces not a few issues that urgently need to be resolved. Generally speaking, literature and art creation is not yet adapted with the needs of the progress of the times, there are insufficient excellent products and masterpieces, literature and art reform and management tasks are still very arduous, team quality requires further raising. These issues must attract high regard and be earnestly resolved.
(3) Completely realizing the magnificent objective across centuries, requires a great rise and development in the literature and art undertaking urgently. In the magnificent progress of putting economic construction at the centre, developing the Socialist market economy, developing Socialist democratic politics and developing a Socialist spiritual civilization, the literature and art undertaking is vast and broad as the heaven and earth, and its work is very promising. In the current and future period, the main tasks for literature and art work are: persisting in heartening people with excellent works, letting the literature and art undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics flourish and develop, satisfy the popular masses’ daily increasing spiritual and cultural needs, and create a fine cultural environment for reform, opening up and modernization construction.
II, The guiding ideology, principles and policies of literature and art work.
(4) To let the Socialist literature and art undertaking flourish, we must persist in taking Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and the theory of Socialism with Chinese characteristics constructed by Deng Xiaoping as guidance, persist in the basic line of “once centre, two basic points”, consciously submit to and serve the greater picture of the work of the entire Party and country. We must strive to study and utilize Marxist literature and art theory, understand the essence of life, grasp the spirit of the times, guide work practice and dedicate the best spiritual nourishment to the people.
(5) Vigorously and earnestly implement the Party’s literature and art work principles and policies. We must persist in the orientation of serving the people and serving Socialism; and persist in the policy of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend. In work, we must persist in stressing construction, unity and enthusiasm; persist in carrying forward the main melody and advocating diversification; persist in going deeply into life, going deeply into reality, linking up closely with the popular masses, persist in putting social effect first, strive to realize the unity of social effect and economic effect; persist in grasping flourishing with one hand and management with one hand; persist in inheritance and innovation, march the path of reform and opening up.
(6) Socialist literature and art is the literature and art of the popular masses. The people require art, art requires the people even more. The people’s lives are the only source of literature and art that is inexhaustible and boundless. Conducting creation of literature and art within the people’s creation of history, and creating progress for literature and art within the people’s literature and art, is where the crux of Socialist literature and art to preserve its vitality. We must deeply take root in the history creation activities of the popular masses, continue to carry forward the excellent culture of the nation and revolutionary culture and tradition, vigorously attract advanced results from global culture, make the old serve the present, make the foreign serve China, push out the old to make way for the new. We must forcefully guide all ideologies and spirits beneficial to carrying forward nationalism, collectivism and Socialism, forcefully advocate all ideologies and spirits benefiting reform, opening up and modernization construction, forcefully initiate all ideologies and spirits benefiting the people’s unity, social progress and the happiness of the people, and forcefully advocate all ideologies and spirits of using honest labour to gain a beautiful life, and arouse the huge enthusiasm of the people of all nations in the entire country for arduous undertaking, and construct the Motherland.
(7) Vigorously give rein to the vigour and creativity of literators and artists, strive to shape a vivid, vigorous, united, upward and desirable atmosphere in literature and art circles. Fully respect the rules of literature and art, fully respect the labours of literators and artists, advocate the free development of different styles and forms in artistic creation, and advocate the free discussion of different viewpoints and schools in artistic theory. As long as we are able to ensure that the people gain education and enlightenment, and gain entertaining, aesthetic and enjoyable products, everything shall be welcomed and encouraged. We must vigorously explore, dare to innovate, incessantly enrich and develop literature and art of Socialism with Chinese characteristics in practice and make vigorous contributions to the construction of both civilizations.
III, Forcefully let literature and art creation flourish.
(8) Flourishing creation is the central link of literature and art work. We must establish a sense of excellent products, implement excellent product strategies, strive to create outstanding works uniting ideology and artistry, that have a strong attraction and infectiousness, and are deeply welcomed by the broad people in all categories of literature and art, and drive the complete flourishing of the literature and art undertaking.
Vigorously promote the flourishing of literature and art creation, raise the ideological and artistic levels of novels, poems, prose, documentary literature and drama film scripts, we must especially emphasize the grasping of creating long fiction. Realistically strengthen film production, complete the scientific management of film production, and produce more excellent films that the masses love. Raise the quality of advertising and television literature and art programmes, promote even more branded literature and art columns and outstanding film dramas (films). Strive to stimulate children’s literature and art creation, roll out children’s works with healthy ideological content, a strong knowledge-related flavour, that are rich in artistic enchantment. Strive to grasp the reflection of stage art reflecting real life and other sorts of art creation, roll out even more good dramas, music, dance, fine art, calligraphy, quyi, acrobatics, photography and excellent works in other fields.
Give rein to the cultural characteristics of ethnic minorities, let ethnic minority literature and art flourish. Earnestly implement the Party’s ethnic and religious policies, respect the customs and habits of all ethnicities, vigorously support literature and art works reflecting the lives of ethnic minorities, safeguarding ethnic unity and social progress.
The “One of Five Project” for spiritual civilization construction is the focus project for carrying forward the main melody and promoting the production of excellent works. All regions and all departments must strengthen planning, organize matters meticulously, raise quality, publish more excellent products, and give even better rein to the model function of this project in spiritual product production.
(9) Vigorously launch healthy mass culture activities, strive to ensure that these suit both refined and popular tastes, and incorporate teaching into play. Strengthen community constructions, village culture, enterprise culture and schoolyard culture construction, give rein to folk literature and art, encourage after-hours literature and art creation, vigorously guide the broad masses to participate in all sorts of literature and art activities. Launch cultural poverty relief, promote culture to go into villages, construct the border culture corridor, organize mass culture activities around focus holidays well, and further enrich the spiritual and cultural lives of urban and rural people.
(10) Strengthen literature and art review, improve literature and art awards. Literature and art reviews are important drivers for literature and art development, we must persist in seeking truth from facts, being well-disposed and giving first place to positive guidance. We must advocate correct creation ideologies, warmly recommend excellent works, help people in raising their appreciation levels. Concerning works with flaws, we must write down the truth, and help sincerely. Concerning mistaken literature and art viewpoints, we must dare to criticize, and persuade people with reason. That sort of tendency that is aloof to the “Two Fors” orientation, that is far away from the practice of the masses, that sort of tendency of pandering to vulgar tastes and “looking at money in everything”, and that sort of tendency of despising revolutionary literature and art traditions but praising degenerate literature and art thinking trends are mistaken and should be firmly opposed. Strengthen literature and art theory construction, vigorously organize literature and art criticism columns in newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations well. Persist in the principles of high standards, strict requirements and fewer but better, do literature and art award work well, to stimulate the flourishing of literature and art creation.
IV, Deepening literature and art structural reform.
(11) Deepening literature and art structural reform is a necessary path for letting Socialist literature and art flourish. Literature and art products have a special nature that is different from material products, and have a major influence on people’s ideological, moral and cultural quality. Literature and art structural reform must stimulate literature and art production to face the market, but cannot allow the market to take the initiative in selection. Reform must benefit giving rein to the vigour and creativity of the broad literature and art workers, to publish more excellent works and produce more outstanding talents. The basic objective is to establish a Socialist literature and art structure that conforms to the requirements for spiritual civilization construction, abides by the inherent laws of literature and art development, gives rein to the positive functions of market mechanisms, and is full of vitality.
(12) Reform must liberate thoughts and seek truth from facts, differentiate situations, guide matters in a categorized manner, vigorously move forward, progressively develop matters. The reform of literature and art performance troupes must further smoothen the relationships between the State and literature and art troupes, and between literature and art troupes and individuals, progressively shaping a development structure focusing on State guarantees, encouraging society to run troupes. Film structure reform must earnestly implement the “Film Management Regulations”, broaden film investment channels, guarantee financial investment in focus films, and truly resolve the problem that it is difficult for the countryside, the elderly, youth and popular masses in border regions to watch films. Television art management structural reform must strengthen management over nationwide television drama theme planning and television art production, and establish standardized television drama (film) exchange markets. All sorts of literature and art enterprise and undertaking work units must deepen internal reform, establish and complete mechanism that are competitive and incentivizing, as well as responsible and restrained.
V, Strengthen literature and art undertaking management.
(13) Flourishing requires management, management stimulates flourishing, we must use methods conforming to the laws of literature and art to manage literature and art. Management must be suited to China’s national conditions, implement the Party’s principles and policies, abide by State laws and regulations and stimulate the flourishing and healthy development of literature and art undertakings. We must strive to explore and establish literature and art work management systems suited to the Socialist market economy system. We must strengthen creation and production planning, rationally adjust the structure of the undertaking, and pay attention to grasp orientations, raise quality and enhance efficiency. In whatever we advocate, whatever we permit, whatever we limit and whatever we oppose, our banner must be clear, and measures must be powerful.
(14) Accelerate literature and art legislation. At the same time as earnestly implementing current literature and art regulations, closely grasp the formulation of regulations for radio, television, fine arts, performance, entertainment venues and other areas. By the end of this century and the beginning of the next, progressively establish a relatively complete regulatory structure for culture work, and provide realistic legal guarantees for safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of literature and art workers, stimulating the development of public welfare-type cultural undertakings and realizing the scientized and standardized management of cultural undertakings.
(15) Perfect cultural economic policies. Earnestly implement all provisions of Central economic policies related to culture. The State progressively increases financial input into cultural undertakings in a planned and focused manner. Further perfect and propagate preferential fiscal policies for cultural undertakings. Propagate that special funds in the Special Cultural Development Fund must be used for their purpose. Establish development funds for cultural and artistic undertakings, encourage social forces to financially support literature and art undertakings. Vigorously support literature and art work units and high-quality literature and art works that represent national artistic levels or local and ethnic characteristics. Literature and art undertakings in the Central and Western underdeveloped regions and ethnic minority regions must adopt effective measures to strengthen investment. Persist in running literature and art undertakings in a hardworking and thrifty manner, fully give rein to the function of existing cultural facilities.
(16) Strengthen cultural market management. Cultural markets are important battlegrounds for spiritual civilization construction, we can absolutely not permit them to become venues for the breeding and spread of degenerate ideology and culture. We must vigorously foster and perfect cultural markets, forcefully support healthy cultural products, and propose beneficial cultural entertainment activities that are suited to the broad masses’ consumption levels. We must safeguard lawful business and protect intellectual property rights. Establish and complete cultural market inspection teams, implement training, assessment, reward, punishment and position certification systems, incessantly raise the quality and law enforcement levels of teams. Persist in integrating regular management with concentrated operations, vigorously give rein to the function of mass supervision, and persist in unwaveringly launch the struggle to sweep away pornographic publications and attacking illegal publishing activities, to stimulate the flourishing and healthy development of cultural markets.
(17) Strengthen management over Sino-foreign cultural exchange work. Vigorously launch Sino-foreign cultural exchange, let China understand the world even better and let the world understand China even better. We must, according to relevant regulations, guarantee management work well of foreign literature and art performers coming to China, Sino-foreign cooperative production of literature and art works as well as the import of books, periodicals, films, audiovisual products, etc. We must strengthen coordination in relation to introducing literature and art works abroad, including performances, participation in competitions and other programmes, manage matters according to specialization, and ensure that even more excellent literature and art works that reflect the excellent cultural traditions of the Chinese nation and the spiritual bearing of the people of China today towards the world.
VI, Construct high-quality literature and art teams.
(18) Constructing a line of literature and art teams that are ardently patriotic, ardently love the people, whose sense of undertaking is strong and whose artistic cultivation is high, is an urgent requirement for literature and art flourishing. The broad literature and art workers must strive to learn, raise their ideological and moral qualities as well as cultural attainments, establish correct worldviews, views of life and value systems, persist in correct creation ideologies. Adopt all sorts of forms to go deeply into the first line of reform, opening up and modernization construction, go deeply into factories, mines, villages, schools, neighbourhoods and companies, consciously draw source materials, themes, plots, language, sentiments and imagery from the lives of the people, enrich accumulation and replenish oneself. We must carry forward a spirit of respecting work and a spirit of contribution, scrutinize matters assiduously, concentrate on creation, keep improving, and avoid doing things badly and roughly, earnestly and strictly consider the social effects of our own works, consciously and closely integrate individual creation with the flourishing of the lofty mission of letting Socialist literature and art undertakings flourish, and become engineers of the human soul worthy of that name.
(19) Safeguard and enhance literature and art team unity. Literature and art departments and work units’ leading cadres must take the lead in doing unity well, and strengthen team cohesion through their own model actions. Writers and artists must trust each other, respect each other, understand each other and support each other, focus on the larger picture, unite as one in looking ahead, and under the common objective of letting Socialist literature and art flourish, make concerted efforts to jointly build a literature and art skyscraper for the magnificent majesty of the Chinese nation.
(20) Formulate and implement cross-century literature and art talent project plans. Adapt to the development requirements of our country’s literature and art undertakings in the next 15 years, strengthen literature and art backbone teams, and especially young and middle-age excellent talent fostering work in a planned manner, create a good environment beneficial to excellent literature and art talent to come to the fore and mature healthily. Strive to foster ever more writers and artists that are in close step with the pace of the times, which warmly love the motherland and the people, with exquisite art. Strengthen literature and art school construction, incessantly transport excellent talents to the literature and art front.
VII, Strengthen and improve Party leadership over literature and art work.
(21) To let Socialist literature and art flourish and develop, we must strengthen and improve Party leadership over literature and art work. We must correctly formulate literature and art principles and policies, vigorously propose literature and art workers to study Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and especially the theory of Socialism with Chinese characteristics constructed by Deng Xiaoping, fully give rein to the vigour of the broad cultural workers, and guaranteeing the correct orientation of literature and art development. All levels’ Party Committees and their propaganda and culture controlling departments must respect the laws of literature and art development, respect the creative labour of writers and artists, and must pay attention to preventing flagrant intervention, but cannot take a laissez-faire attitude, to truly achieve unity and enthusiasm, respect and trust, assist enthusiastically and guide correctly.
(22) Realistically strengthen ideological construction, organizational constructions and work style construction of Party organizations in literature and art circles, strengthen the cohesion and fighting strength of Party organizations. According to the policy of “Four Modernizations” of cadre teams and the principles of combining ability and integrity, allocate leadership ranks in literature and art departments and work units, special attention must be paid to fostering and selecting young cadres who persist in the Party line, principles and policies, with prominent achievements, that are trusted by the masses. All levels’ leading rank members must strengthen theoretical study, firmly establish a political consciousness, a sense of the larger picture and a sense of responsibility, fully carry forward democracy, broadly hear opinions, and consciously accept supervision from the masses. Party members’ literature and art workers first and foremost must be Communist Party members, they must observe the Party Constitution, and strictly demand of themselves to be a model among the masses according to Party member standards.
(23) The Party’s leading cadres and all levels’ culture work departments must closely link up with the broad literature and art workers, and make friends widely and deeply. Establish literature and art information conference systems, regularly report to the Centre on the situation of spiritual and literature and art work. Regularly have heart-to-heart talk with writers and artists, communicate thoughts, exchange opinions, and assist the resolution of real problems in work and life. Give high regard to giving rein to the important function of labour unions, the Youth League and the Women’s Federation in organizing cultural activities and enlivening the masses’ cultural lives.
(24) Vigorously give rein to the function of people’s organizations in the literature and art circles. The federations of cultural circles and the writer’s unions are people’s organizations led by the Party with participation from literators and artists from all ethnicities, and are the bridge and link for the Party to link up with the broad literature and art workers. All levels’ Party Committees must strengthen leadership over cultural federations and writers’ unions, support them in vigorously launching their work according to the Party’s principles and policies. The cultural federations and writers unions must strengthen organic construction, earnestly implement the functions of liaison, coordination and service, serve writers and artists full of enthusiasm, and solve more real issues. We must strengthen professional training and sector self-regulation, and propose fine professional morals. Pay attention to giving rein to the vigorous function of all sorts of literature and art associations, research associations and cultural groups, controlling departments must realistically bear responsibility for guidance and management.
Constructing a rich, strong, democratic and civilized Socialist modernized country is a magnificent pioneering undertaking. The exciting life of the times and the deep transformation of society have provided extremely good opportunities for the flourishing and development of Socialist literature and art. All patriotic literature and art workers, determined in the sake of revitalizing the nation and letting the country become rich and strong, should strengthen a sense of responsibility and a sense of mission, closely follow the spirit of the times, give full rein to their intelligence and ability, and compose magnificent writing that lives up to the brave advance by the Chinese nation. All ethnicities’ literature and art workers in the entire country must closely unite around the Party Centre with comrade Jiang Zemin at the core, hold high the magnificent banner of constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics, inspire their spirits, be of one heart and mind, and strive to initiate a new picture of literature and art work.
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