Cultural Confidence

A new era needs cultural, literary and artistic workers who express people’s aspirations and record history

On March 4, President Xi Jinping stressed that the new era requires outstanding writers, artists and theorists to strengthen the nation’s cultural confidence, serve the people with fine works and guide the public with high moral standards.

Xi, also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a joint panel discussion in Beijing of political advisors from the culture, art and social sciences sectors attending the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which is the country’s top political advisory body.

President Xi Jinping shakes hands with political advisors from the culture, art and social sciences sectors who are attending the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing on March 4 (XINHUA)

After listening to opinions and suggestions from political advisors, Xi stressed the people-centered principle and noted that cultural, literary and artistic workers should utilize practical experience, carefully observe people’s lives and express people’s aspirations.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi has acknowledged and expressed his admiration and thought for Chinese culture on multiple occasions. In his speech on July 1, 2016, at the celebration of the 95th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, Xi added “confidence in its culture” to the existing Three Matters of Confidence (the socialist path, theory and system), thus expanding the term to Four Matters of Confidence.

“A country, or a nation, cannot be devoid of soul,” Xi said on March 4, adding that the mission of workers in culture, literature, art, philosophy and the social sciences is to nurture the root and soul of the nation, which is found in its culture.

Since 2012, workers in culture, literature, art, philosophy and the social sciences have made notable achievements in improving the quality of their work. China’s cultural industry has grown consistently and become more competitive. According to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics, the cultural industry and its related industries accounted for 4.2 percent of the country’s GDP in 2017, up from 3.48 percent in 2012. By the end of 2018, the country had 2,075 art performance troupes, 3,331 museums, 3,173 public libraries and 3,326 cultural centers.

In addition, a number of quality books, TV programs and films have emerged recently, including Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, In the Name of the People, Wolf Warrior II and The Wandering Earth, which reflected people’s voices, showcased Chinese wisdom and approach to resolving global issues, and were well received at home and abroad.

China’s cultural exchange with foreign countries has developed quickly, with China’s cultural symbols no longer limited to traditional ones, such as Kung Fu or the Peking Opera. TV dramas that tell the stories of ordinary Chinese people have also helped global audiences better understand China. Such exchanges not only demonstrate cultural confidence, but also promote people-to-people communication and friendship.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The country has entered a new era. All workers in culture, literature, art, philosophy and the social sciences should keep pace with the times, bear the people-centered principle in mind and produce fine works that reflect reality, and are conducive to solving real problems, answering real questions and describing the big transformation China is undergoing.