Furthering the cultural construction wave, a book has been published (electronic version) that collects important speeches and statements by all party chiefs from Mao until Hu, concerning the important position of culture in the People’s Republic. At the launch seminar, CPD chief Liu Yunshan delivered a speech on the importance of the book and the underlying theme of cultural reform in the Chinese political constellation. This speech has now been published in “Seeking Truth”, which already published Hu Jintao’s earlier culture-related address. Full translation:
Deeply studying the Party’s cultural construction theory
Promoting the implementation of the spirit of the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress
With Central approval, the Central Propaganda Department and the Central Literature Research Centre have selected and published “On Cultural Construction – Extracts of Important Discussions” (hereafter simply named “Extracts”). This is an important step in strengthening the study of the Party’s cultural construction theory, and is also an important work in deeply implementing the spirit of the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress, and further moving cultural flourishing and development forward. The “Extract” include important discussions by Comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao concerning cultural construction, concentrating the untiring exploration of different generations of CCP personalities concerning Socialist culture construction, and has reflected the rich theoretical achievements our party has obtained in the sphere of cultural construction, and is a strong guideline for realization. These important discussions have been shaped in different periods, and all persist in the Marxist position, the basic point of view of everything for the sake of the broadest people runs through it, the basic methods of dialectical materialism and historical materialism run through it, they are derived from the same origin but also move ahead in step with the time, are closely connected but each is also rich in original ideas, they have become the core content of the Party’s cultural construction theory, have become important component parts of the Party’s overall theoretical system, they are a spiritual wealth that is utterly precious for our party, it is a strong ideological weapon for moving cultural reform and development forward, and making Socialist culture flourish. These important discussions fully reflect that our party is a Marxist party with a high level of cultural consciousness and cultural self-confidence, is a party that raises high the banner of advanced culture and persists in lofty cultural ideals, is a party that has profound cultural vision, and broadens cultural minds, and is a party that courageously conducts cultural exploration, and it good at grasping cultural rules.
Since the 6the Plenum of the 17th Party Congress, the entire Party and society have made studying, propagating and implementing the Plenum’s spirit as an important political task, have given it high regard in their though, highly conscious in their action, and have forcefully moved forward in their work. Generally, the state of study, propaganda and implementation of the Plenum’s spirit is very good, and the achievements are clear. The cultural consciousness and the cultural self confidence of the entire Party and the entire society have rise, the broad cadres and masses have closely followed cultural construction, and have thrown themselves into an enthusiastic and unprecedented surge of cultural construction, this is an incessant process of deepening understanding, and we must persist in unremittingly use the Party’s cultural construction theory to unify thoughts and concentrate consensus. The publication of the “Extract” has provided authoritative teaching materials for studying the Party’s cultural construction theory, and has provided an important path to follow in studying and implementing the Plenum’s spirit. Studying, propagating and applying the “Extract” well has an important significance in implementing the Plenum’s spirit. We must, with the publication of the “Extract” as juncture, closely integrate Party leaders and the people to conduct vivid practice of cultural construction, closely integrate the concrete reality of cultural reform and development, incessantly deepen study and understanding of the Party’s cultural construction theory, even better use Parry theory to arm minds with the achievements of innovation and guide practice, stimulate the grand development and grand flourishing of Socialist culture.
1. Deeply understanding our Party’s important ideology concerning the place and function of cultural construction, firmly establishing high levels of cultural consciousness and cultural self-confidence. Culture is the lifeblood of the nation, the spiritual garden of the people and is the banner of parties. As a Marxist party, our Party completely persists in promoting the forward development of Party and people’s undertakings with a new cultural awakening, new achievements in theoretical creation and new achievements in cultural construction. During the era of revolution and war, our Party put forward that culture is a reflection of politics and the economy, and at the same time also guides the practice political and economic struggle. During the time of Socialist construction, out Party clearly put forward that “We must make our country, with its backward economy and backward culture, into a well-off and prosperous country with a high cultural level.” Entering the new period of reform and opening-up our Party repeatedly emphasized that “We must not only give high regard to material civilization, but we must also pay high regard to spiritual civilization” Entering the new century and a new phase, our Party further puts forward: “Culture is an important source for national cohesion and creativity, it is an important factor in comprehensive national strength, and an important pillar for social development.” These important discussions have manifested the initiative taken on by different generations of Chinese communist concerning the historical task of developing culture. The new development of the 6ht Plenum of the 17th Party Congress, based on the times and practice, clearly put forward the fostering of high levels of cultural consciousness and cultural self-confidence, and have further deepened our Party’s understanding of the position and function of culture, and have reflected the strategic vision, foresight and sagacity of our Party.
Cultural consciousness and cultural self-confidence reflect the idealistic pursuit and spiritual attitude of a party, and is an important sign of whether a party is mature or has vitality. To deeply implement the Plenum’s spirit, the first thing to do is to raise understanding of the position and culture of function, preserve strong cultural self-confidence and a sense of pride, and establish lofty cultural beliefs and cultural pursuits. We must even more consciously understand that Socialist advanced culture is a banner for Marxist party ideology and spirit, completely persist in the correct orientation of cultural development, strive to build spiritual culture high grounds, fully unfold the strong inspiration and attraction of advanced culture. We must even more consciously understand that cultural construction is an important component part of the overall picture of the Socialist cause with Chinese characteristics, concerns the historical process of realizing the complete construction of a relatively well-off society and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, putting cultural construction in the middle of the larger picture to understand and grasp it, lets culture truly become a strong force in promoting economic and social development, and become an important driver for social civilization progress. We must even more consciously understand the unique function of culture in comprehensive national strength, vigorously occupy the commanding heights of cultural development, incessantly strengthen national cultural soft power, and expand the international influence of Chinese culture.
2. Deeply understanding the important ideology of our Party concerning the struggle objectives of cultural construction, further strengthening the pursuit of the goal to construct a strong Socialist culture country. In the long-term practice of revolution, construction and reform, our Party has always integrated its own history obligation, and put forward cultural development objectives conforming to the development requirements of the times. The “Extract’s” important discussions concerning the struggle objectives of cultural construction have concentratedly reflected the cultural ideals that different generations of Communist have diligently pursued, and has vividly reflected the ideological orbit of the Party’s leading the people in moving cultural construction forward. Comrade Mao Zedong already predicted earlier: following the arrival of a high tide of economic construction, a high tide of cultural construction will unavoidably also emerge. Comrade Deng Xiaoping cited this statement of Comrade Mao Zedong and put forward: we may say, full of confidence, the emergence of this sort of situation is not far off. Comrade Jiang Zemin emphasized: in the great struggle of the modern Chinese people, we will inevitably meet a new high tide of Socialist culture construction, and create even more magnificent advanced culture.
Comrade Hu Jintao put forward: the grand rejuvenation of the Chinese nation certainly will follow in the wake of the flourishing and ascendance of Chinese culture, we must even more consciously and actively promote the grand development and grand flourishing of culture. The 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress holds on to our Party’s lofty cultural ideals, grasps cultural development tendencies, surveys the prospects of cultural development, has put forward struggle objectives for constructing a strong Socialist culture county, and has painted a magnificent blueprint for cultural flourishing and development.
The objectives of constructing a strong Socialist culture country are matched with our country’s profound cultural underpinnings and rich cultural resources, undertake the objectives of constructing a prosperous, strong, democratic and civilized modernized Socialist country, and have a major immediate significance and a long-term strategic significance. This is a compelling struggle objective, and has complied with the new shifts in the development of domestic and foreign circumstances, has complied with the new expectations of the peoples of all ethnicities concerning spiritual culture, has revealed our country’s glorious prospect of cultural flourishing and ascendancy, requires us to incessantly use these objectives to hearten people’s hearts, further arouses the enthusiasm of the entire Party and society to throw themselves into cultural construction, concentrates strong forces to promote cultural reform and development, and incessantly initiates new dimensions in cultural construction. This is an objective to completely develop the glamour and strength of Chinese culture, and requires us to closely follow and develop in step with the times, stand in the forward position of the progress of global civilization, not forget our origins, attract the external, fix eyes on the future, forcefully develop advanced Socialist culture that faces modernization, faces the world and faces the future, that belongs to the people, to science and to the masses, making Chinese culture have strong attraction and influence, strong vitality and creativity, strong strength and competitiveness. This is an objective for which we must struggle a long time, it requires us to base ourselves on the present, and fix eyes on the long term, persevere and strive untiringly, develop work with a spirit of making the best use of our time, implement all tasks in cultural reform and development with a strong sense of responsibility and a sense of mission, establishing a solid basis for constructing a strong Socialist culture country.
3. Deeply understand our Party’s important ideology concerning cultural construction policies and principles, incessantly expand the broad prospects of the development path of Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics. Persisting in which kinds of policies and which kinds of principles directly relates to the nature and orientation of cultural development. In the long-term historical practice, our Party has progressively established a set of policies and principles concerning cultural construction: persisting in serving the People and serving Socialism, letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend; persisting in grasping with both hands, and both hands must be strong, facing modernization, facing the world and facing the future; persisting in unity, stability and enthusiasm, positive propaganda having first place, carrying forward the main melody and advocating diversity; persisting in putting people first, sticking close to reality, sticking close to life and sticking close to the masses, and so on. These deeply reveal the inherent rules of our country’s cultural development, and are effective policies and principles proven in practice. Exactly under the guidance of these policies and principles, our country’s cultural constructions has obtained major historical achievements, and has walked a development path of Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics. The 6ht Plenum of the 17th Party Congress has deeply elaborated the basic content of this path on the basis of deeply summarizing historical experience and new practice, and has clearly put forward practice requirements to enrich and expand this path.
The development path of Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics is the single correct path for constructing advanced Socialist culture and realizing the flourishing and ascendance of Chinese culture, it includes the basic nature, basic objectives and basic drivers of cultural construction, and has provided for the basic properties of our country’s culture and for a basic path to follow in cultural work. We must deeply grasp the basic requirements of the development path of Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics, persist in walking the path of advanced culture, with Marxism as guidance, persist in the correct cultural position and cultural orientation, clearly understand the numerous and complicated social cultural phenomena, guarantee that cultural construction develops along the correct orientation; persist in walking the path of scientific development, use the scientific development view to command cultural construction, with scientific development as theme, let the concepts of scientific development run through all aspects and segments of cultural work; persist in walking the path of strengthening the basis and consolidating the basis, making the Socialist core value system into a basic project, strengthening ideals and concepts, building spiritual forces, incessantly consolidating the common ideological band moral basis of the united struggle of the people; persist in walking the path of putting people first, give rein to the main function of the people in cultural construction, persist in cultural development being for the people, cultural development relying on the people, cultural development achievements being shared by the people; persist in walking the path of reform and innovation, arousing the vitality of cultural creation, liberating and developing cultural productive forces, and incessantly starting new dimensions in Socialist culture constructions with a spirit of moving in step with the times.
4. Deeply understand our Party’s important ideology concerning the basic tasks concerning cultural construction, forcefully move the construction of a Socialist core value system forward. The Socialist core value system is the spirit of rejuvenating the country, is the root of cultural construction, and decides the development direction of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Comrade Mao Zedong put forward that our Party must have a “common language”, and our Socialist country must have a “uniform determination”. Comrade Deng Xiaoping emphasized to “rely on ideals, rely on strong convictions, and all difficulties can be overcome.” Comrade Jiang Zemin stressed that “one nation, one country, if there is no spiritual pillar, that’s as if there is no spirit, and it may lose cohesion and vitality”. Comrade Hu Jintao put forward that “the Socialist core value system is the essential embodiment of the Socialist ideology”, “and is the lead and guidance for our country’s Socialist culture.” give high regard to concentrating common determination and strengthen forces, become a basic guarantee for our Party’s incessantly seizing victories. The 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress has made constructing a Socialist core value system a basic task in cultural construction, has conducted systematic elaboration and complete deployment, has clearly answered with which ideology and spirit our Party will lead the progress of the people under new historical conditions, and with which spiritual bearing the Chinese nation will tower over the forest of the nations of the world.
Facing all sorts of ideological exchange, mingling and confrontation in the global scope, and facing the diversification, variation and change of social ideology, urgently requires us to use the effective channel of the Socialist value system to guide the society’s ideological trends, raise the guiding strength and comprehensive strength of mainstream ideology and culture, and to the largest extent broaden the identification of social ideology. We must deeply understand the importance and urgency of moving the construction of a Socialist core value system forward, cast a spirit to rejuvenate the country, inherit the quintessence of culture, strengthen the pursuit of objectives, use the Socialist core value system to gather minds and concentrate spirits, strive to lead in diversity and find consensus in variety. We must closely integrate the facts of ideology and moral construction, persist in unremittingly use the newest achievements of Marxism’s sinicization to arm the whole Party and educate the people, use the common ideals of Socialism with Chinese characteristics to concentrate forces, use a national spirit with patriotism at the core and a zeitgeist with reform and innovation at the core to enhance troop morale, use the Socialist view of honour and shame to guide social trends. We must persist in unifying thoughts and actions, stress practice and cultivation, merge the Socialist core value system into the whole process of national education, spiritual civilization construction and part construction, let it run through all areas of reform, opening up and the construction of Socialist modernization, reflect it in all aspects of spiritual culture product creation, production and dissemination, letting it become a conscious pursuit and real action of the whole people.
5. Deeply understand the important ideology of our Party concerning cultural development drivers, promoting cultural flourishing and development with a spirit of reform and innovation. Reform and innovation is an endlessly multiplying source of vitality in national culture, and is a key place for promoting cultural flourishing and development. In the process of leading cultural construction processes, our Party has put forward a series of important ideologies concerning issues of the drivers of cultural development, has completely stressed the need to make the past serve the present, make the foreign serve Chinese, pushing out the old to get the new; has stressed the necessity to grasp the requirements of the times and fix eyes on new practice, vigorously conducting cultural innovation, and realizing culture to move with the time; has stressed that culture is the area that requires innovation most, that reform is the only way to develop culture, that we must persist in liberating thoughts, boldly innovate, and stimulate development and flourishing with reform. The spirit of reform and innovation ran through 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress, which, starting from the even higher starting point of cultural development, starting from the even higher objective of constructing a strong Socialist culture country, has put forward new requirements concerning deepening cultural structure reform, moving cultural innovation forward, liberating and developing cultural productive forces, and have pointed the orientation for strengthening the vitality of cultural development drivers.
At present, our country’s cultural structural reform has already entered the new phase of overall deepening, cultural development has already entered a new period of acceleration and moving forward, consolidate desirable situations, analyze and explain problems in our progress, the basic path is still to rely on reform and innovation. We must persist in making transforming concepts into a master switch, making deepening reform into a strong driver, making tenacious innovation into an untiring pursuit, persist in liberating thoughts, seeking truth from facts, moving in step with the time, and let the spirit of reform and innovation run through the entire process of cultural construction. We must forcefully move cultural structure and mechanism reform and innovation forward, deepen cultural management mechanism reform, innovate models for culture to march out, get rid of structural and mechanistic obstacles hindering cultural development, strive to build structures and mechanism full of vitality, rich in effectiveness, that are even more open and benefit cultural scientific development. We must persist in the orientation being the soul, content being king, and creativity getting the upper hand, forcefully move forward innovation of cultural content models, and innovation of methods and means, move forward the merging of culture and high or new technology, incessantly raise the creation capacity of culture, strengthen the zeitgeist and attractiveness of culture. We must promote reform to obtain new progress in focus areas and key segments, expand strength, accelerate advance, consolidate improvements, focus on prominent points, and move forward all-round, deepen State-owned commercial culture work unit to transform into enterprises, deepen the reform of public interest-type culture work units, complete the phase-bound reform tasks determined by the Centre on time, and even better stimulate the grand flourishing and development of cultural undertakings and cultural industries.
6. Deeply understand our Party’s important ideology concerning the basic guarantees of cultural construction, promote cultural reform and development during strengthening and improving Party leadership. The Party managing ideology and the Party managing propaganda and culture is an important principle shaped through our Party’s long-term practice. Our Party has hitherto given high regard to leadership in cultural work, and during the different stages of the development of our cause, has put forward its own cultural programmes, cultural objectives and cultural policies, and forcefully promoted even higher requirements. Under these circumstances, how to closely grasp the initiative in cultural work or grasp the leadership of cultural reform and development is a great and urgent topic. The 6ht Plenum of the 17th Party Congress has clearly pointed out, strengthening and improving Party leadership over cultural work, is a basic guarantee for moving cultural reform and development forward, and is an intrinsic requirement for strengthening the Party’s governing capacity construction and advance construction, we must start from the larger strategic picture, grasp cultural development rules, complete leadership mechanisms, improve work methods and mechanisms, and strengthen leadership skills for cultural construction.
Only after grasping leadership power, is there the power for initiative. All levels’ Party Committees and governments must realistically put cultural construction in an important position in their overall work, bring it into overall economic and social development plans, bring it into scientific development appraisal and assessment systems, research deployment, organize implementation and supervise examination together with economic and social development, guarantee that the objectives, tasks and policy measures for cultural reform and development are satisfactorily implemented. We must make cultural flourishing and development into a basic requirement for implementing the scientific development view, and make it into an important content for persisting in developing being a hard rationale, and developing being the first task in Party governance rejuvenating the country, grasp cultural construction like grasping economic construction, grasp cultural structure reform like grasping economic structure reform, and grasp focus cultural programmes like grasping focus economic projects. We must raise the scientific level of leading culture reform and development, persist in guaranteeing with scientific systems, and moving forward with scientific methods, use thought methods and measures conforming to cultural development rules even better to lead culture work. We must consciously implement the Party mass line, and resolve basic questions of “for whose sake, on whom to rely, and who are we”, giving rein to creative spirits and main functions, even better mustering the vigour and creativity of cultural workers and the whole society in promoting cultural reform. We must firmly establish the idea that talent is the first resource, persist in respecting labour, respecting knowledge, respecting talent and respecting creation, expand policy support, create desirable environments, and shape vivid circumstances for people putting their talent to full use and all talent being fully applied, strive to create a batch of influential cultural artist, cultural masters and leading personalities in all fields, construct a line of grand cultural talent teams adapted to cultural flourishing and development, and the requirements of constructing a strong Socialist culture country.
Our Party’s ideological system concerning cultural construction is rich, and completing study, propaganda and application work of the “Extract” is utterly important. We must make studying the “Extract” into an important content for moving forward study-related Party organization construction, bring it into central organization study plans, make it into an important material for higher education institutes and Party schools to conduct ideological and theoretical education, and make it into an important content to conduct propaganda speeches for grass-roots cadres and the masses. We must revolve around our Party’s important discussions concerning cultural construction, organize expert academics to deeply research major theoretical and real problems in the cultural areas, research general, strategic and forward-looking issues relating to cultural development, timely distilling experience from practice into theoretical achievements, incessantly enriching and developing theory for Socialist culture with Chinese characteristics, and provide scientific principle support to move forward cultural construction. We must integrate the study and application of the “Extract”, realistically strengthen propaganda and explanation of Party culture construction theory, strengthen propaganda and explanation of the centre’s policy decisions and deployment concerning cultural construction, strengthen propaganda and explanation of cultural reform and development progress and achievements, promote the spirit of the 6th Plenum of the 17th Party Congress to be deeply implemented with a desirable public opinion environment, and promote the rising of a new high tide of Socialist culture construction
(This text is the speech delivered by CCP Central Committee Political Bureau Member, Central Committee Secretariat Secretary and Central Propaganda Department Director Liu Yunshan on 15 February 2012 at the forum concerning publication of “On Cultural Construction – Extracts of Important Discussions”. Revisions have been made at the time of publishing)