Vigorously Promoting the Guiding Thought of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2012-03-31 10:30
text size: T | T
Share:

 The Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China addressed the important theme of cultural reform in China. With its rich contents, the meeting touched on all aspects of China’s cultural reform and development, and culminated in the passage of the Decision of the CPC Central Committee on Major Issues Pertaining to Deepening Reform of the Cultural System and Promoting the Great Development and Flourishing of Socialist Culture (the Decision). Drawing on the Decision and the important speech made by General Secretary Hu Jintao, we must fully convey the guidelines of the plenary session, devote efforts to guiding cadres and ordinary people in further emancipating their minds, transform our ways of thinking, grasp opportunities, continue our triumphant advance, and constantly work to consolidate and build on the sound trend of prosperity we are enjoying in cultural development with greater enthusiasm and firmer action, so as to break new ground in cultural development at a new starting point in the history.

 November 12, 2011, a group of villagers singing the Kam Grand Choirs in Tongguan Village, Liping County, Guizhou Province. / Photo by Xinhua reporter Tian Weitao

  1. We need to comprehensively and accurately convey the situation and the tasks that we are confronting in cultural reform and development and concentrate our efforts on guiding cadres and ordinary people in establishing a high degree of cultural consciousness and cultural confidence. The plenary session gave a comprehensive summary of the historic achievements that China has made in cultural development since the adoption of the reform and opening up policy, and particularly since the Sixteenth National Party Congress. It incisively analyzed the current situation and the new tasks that we are facing in cultural development, and stressed the importance and urgency of promoting cultural reform and development. This has provided both a fundamental basis and clear-cut goals for cadres and the people to identify development opportunities, actively meet challenges, and speed up cultural reform and development. Focusing on the important exposition of the plenary session in regard to the situation and the tasks that we are facing in cultural reform, we must expound on how China’s new achievements in cultural development have significantly raised the ideological and moral standards as well as scientific knowledge and cultural attainments of the entire nation; promoted all-around personal development; remarkably increased China’s cultural soft power; and provided a powerful source of motivation for adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. We need to explain that the world is currently experiencing a period of great development, momentous change and enormous readjustment during which various kinds of ideas and cultures are interacting, merging and clashing with one another on a more frequent basis, and that under such circumstances, the position and role of culture in competition for comprehensive national strength has become more prominent, the task of safeguarding the country’s cultural security has become even more arduous, and the need to strengthen China’s cultural soft power and the international influence of Chinese culture has become even more pressing. We need to explain that culture is increasingly becoming an important source of the nation’s cohesiveness and innovativeness; an important factor in competition for overall national strength; and an important pillar of economic and social development, and that having a rich non-material and cultural life is increasingly becoming a strong desire of the Chinese people. We need to expound that deepening the reform of the cultural system and promoting the great development and flourishing of socialist culture at a new starting point in history will have a direct bearing on achieving our goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects; on adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics; and on achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. In the course of in-depth publicity, we need to fully expound that the situation has been excellent in China’s cultural reform and development since the turn of the century, and that historic achievements have been made. Despite this, we need to convey the fact that on the whole China’s cultural development is yet to fully accord with the country’s level of economic development and the growing non-material and cultural demands of the people; with the need to promote scientific development and promote social harmony; with the new situation of China’s increasing openness to the outside world; and with the new trend of robust development in modern media technologies. We need to guide cadres and ordinary people in further raising their level of ideological understanding and in enhancing their sense of responsibility, sense of mission, and sense of urgency in regard to promoting cultural reform and development. We must consciously view the flourishing and development of culture as an important aspect of the notion that development is the absolute principle; as an important aspect of the notion that development is the first priority of our Party in exercising power and rejuvenating the country; and as a basic requirement for implementing the Scientific Outlook on Development in depth. On this basis, the flourishing and development of culture must be given important emphasis in the overall agenda of our work and integrated into general plans for economic and social development, so as to further promote a balance between cultural development, economic development, political development, social development and the development of ecological civilization.

 2. We need to comprehensively and accurately convey the guiding thoughts and major policies for the promotion of cultural reform and development, and work hard to guide cadres and ordinary people in firmly grasping the way forward and the basic principles for cultural development. The plenary session distinctly set forth the guiding thoughts for the promotion of cultural reform and development, emphasizing that we must comprehensively implement the guiding principles of the Seventeenth National Party Congress; hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics; take Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as our guide; thoroughly implement the Scientific Outlook on Development; adhere to the orientation toward advanced socialist culture. It also emphasized that scientific development must be the theme of our initiatives. The development of the system of core socialist values must be our fundamental task. Our fundamental purpose must be to satisfy the people’s non-material and cultural needs. Our driving force must come from reform and innovation. It required that we must develop a national, scientific and popular socialist culture geared towards modernization, the world, and the future; cultivate a high degree of cultural self-awareness and self-confidence; raise the cultural level of the whole nation; increase the country’s cultural soft power; advance and enrich Chinese culture; and strive to build a country with a strong socialist culture. The plenary session also put forward the important policy of “five adherences,” namely, adherence to taking Marxism as the guide, adherence to the orientation toward advanced socialist culture, adherence to the principle of putting people first, adherence to giving top priority to social benefits, and adherence to reform and opening up. These guiding thoughts and the important policy of “five adherences” have grasped the key and the essence of cultural development. They have given us a set of general requirements, a clear line of thinking, and a direction for cultural reform and development under the new situation. Focusing closely on the guiding thoughts and important policies set forth by the plenary session, we must explain that these things represent a profound summary of the basic experiences gained by our Party throughout more than 90 years of leadership in cultural work, and are thus firmly established on a scientific foundation. We need to clearly explain that they are a basic requirement for adhering to the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics, and will play a significant guiding role on a long-term basis. We must expound that they are an interrelated and organically united whole with rich ideological connotations. Through in-depth publicity, we must guide the people in accurately understanding, consciously following, and fully implementing the guiding thoughts and important policies for the promotion of cultural reform and development throughout the entire course of cultural development in all aspects, so as to ensure that cultural reform and development continue to advance in the correct direction.

 3. We need to comprehensively and accurately convey the profound connotations and basic requirements of the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics and work hard to guide cadres and ordinary people in strengthening their conviction to carry out cultural creation during the great practice of adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics. The plenary session gave an in-depth summary of China’s practical explorations in cultural development since the adoption of the reform and opening up policy, and especially since the Party’s Sixteenth National Congress. By accurately identifying the characteristics and laws of cultural development, it gave a scientific summary and a penetrating illustration of the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics. This was a distinct theme and a highlight of the Decision that was passed at the plenary session, as well as a major contribution of the plenary session. The introduction of the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics has provided an answer to the major question of what path China’s cultural development should take and what goal China should advance towards. It has further pointed out the direction of and the approach to China’s cultural development, and has deepened and expanded the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Focusing closely on the exposition of the plenary session in regard to the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics, we must expound that the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics reflects the nature and purpose of the Party; embodies the orientation of China’s cultural development; embodies the fine historical and cultural traditions of the Chinese nation; draws from the achievements of human civilization; caters to the strategic need of strengthening China’s cultural soft power; conforms to China’s national conditions; complies with the needs of the times; and bears distinct Chinese characteristics and practical features. We need to explain the new ideas, new views and new theses of the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics in regard to the nature, purpose, driving force, thinking, pattern and guarantee of cultural development. We must explain the four basic requirements of the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics: to take Marxism as our guide; to let the people play the main role in developing culture; to carry forward the fine cultural traditions of the Chinese nation; and to place equal emphasis on cultural programs for public welfare and commercial cultural industries. The approach of dividing the development of culture into two aspects, namely, cultural programs for public welfare and cultural industries, represents a major innovation made by the Party’s Central Committee with Hu Jintao as the General Secretary in leading cultural development. It has dispelled the ideological fog over cultural development that has shrouded us for a long time; established the different functions of cultural organizations for public welfare and commercial cultural organizations; rationally defined the responsibilities of the government and the functions of the market in cultural development; and clarified our basic line of thought for cultural development, that is, to give equal importance to strengthening cultural programs for public welfare and commercial cultural industries so as to satisfy the ever growing non-material and cultural demands of the people to the greatest possible extent. This represents an important theoretical and practical innovation of the socialist cultural development path with Chinese characteristics. We must guide the people in understanding the scientific nature and historical necessity of this approach to cultural development, thereby allowing them to fully appreciate that this is the only correct way to develop advanced socialist culture and realize the prosperity of Chinese culture. We must guide them in resolutely and consciously following this road in order to continuously break new ground in cultural development.

 4. We need to comprehensively and accurately convey the strategic objective of building a country with a strong socialist culture as well as our targets leading up to the year 2020, and work hard to guide cadres and ordinary people in devoting themselves to cultural reform and development with immense zeal. The plenary session accurately grasped the realities and developmental trends of cultural development in China, and unequivocally set forth the strategic target of turning China into a country with a strong socialist culture. It pointed out the need to root the advanced culture of socialism even deeper in the hearts of the people; promote all-round socialist cultural and ethical progress and material progress; and continuously strive to create new situations in which the creative energy of the whole nation is continuously released, social and cultural life becomes richer and more colorful, the basic cultural rights and interests of the people are better safeguarded, and the ideological and moral qualities and scientific knowledge and cultural attainments of the people are raised in an all-round way. Through such efforts, we will build a common spiritual home for the entire Chinese nation, and thereby make greater contributions to the progress of humankind. The plenary session also set forth China’s objectives in cultural reform and development leading up to the year 2020, outlining the basic requirements and major indices for cultural reform and development over the next decade. This long-term strategy and periodic goal depicts a magnificent blueprint for the great development and great prosperity of China’s culture, embodies the inherent requirements for adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, and reflects the common aspirations of people of all ethnic groups around the whole country. Focusing closely on the strategic objective for cultural development advanced by the plenary session, we must expound that the goal of building a country with a strong socialist culture accords with the inner character of Chinese culture and China’s rich cultural resources, with the overall cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and with our objective of building a prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious socialist modern state, and therefore embodies a powerful source of inspiration and impetus. We need to expound that the goals we have set for cultural reform and development leading up to the year 2020 embody new requirements for attaining our objective of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects; that they demonstrate strong foresight, strategic importance, clear direction and a high level of feasibility; and that they are sure to lay down solid foundations for the building of a country with a strong socialist culture. Through in-depth publicity, we must vividly depict the fine prospects for the prosperity of Chinese culture, ignite the creative zeal of the people, converge a strong force behind cultural reform and development, urge the people to set their sights on the future whilst basing their efforts on the present, and engage in a common effort to realize these objectives.

 5. We need to comprehensively and accurately convey the main tasks and major policy measures for promoting cultural reform and development under the new situation, and work hard to guide cadres and ordinary people in a vigorous effort to break new ground in cultural development. The plenary session gave a comprehensive summary of our rich experiences in cultural development over recent years. From six aspects, it clearly defined our major tasks in cultural reform and development at the present and in the near future, which include building a system of core socialist values, promoting flourishing and development in cultural creation, developing cultural programs for public welfare, speeding up the development of cultural industries, further deepening reform and opening up, and building a large contingent of personnel in the field of culture. It also advanced a series of strategic and policy measures for their realization. These six aspects have highlighted the major issues of overall, fundamental, and strategic importance in China’s cultural development and have grasped outstanding conflicts in urgent need of resolution as well as issues of major concern among both cadres and the public. They represent important breakthrough points for the in-depth promotion of cultural reform and development, and major tasks that must be urgently promoted in order to realize the great development and flourishing of socialist culture. Focusing closely on these aspects, we must expound on the key points of the major strategic arrangements and policy measures put forward by the plenary session, fully convey the specific requirements for the full implementation of these strategic tasks, and convey the key role that the completion of these tasks will have on the promotion of cultural reform and development. Through in-depth publicity, we must urge all localities and government departments to take their own circumstances into consideration, further clarify their lines of thought on cultural reform and development, formulate scientific, rational and feasible development plans, perform their various tasks in cultural reform and development, and strive to break new ground in socialist cultural development.

 The Decision of the plenary session stressed that the system of core socialist values is the soul of China’s rejuvenation and the essence of advanced socialist culture, and that it will determine the direction of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This important exposition reveals the role that the system of core socialist values plays as the soul of cultural development, and represents a thread which runs throughout the Decision of the plenary session. Judging from the special attributes and inherent laws associated with non-material production, we may perceive any culture as an organic unity of intellectual values and the material base and form of transmission through which they are carried. Intellectual values are the “soul” of culture; they determine the nature and orientation of culture, and represent the fundamental embodiment of the ideological content of culture. The material base and forms of transmission through which these intellectual values are carried are the “body” of culture. They represent the fundamental means by which culture realizes its educational functions and cultivates individuals. The soul of contemporary Chinese culture is the system of core socialist values. The “body” of culture may come in many forms. Broadly speaking, it includes the national educational system, the public cultural service system, cultural industries as well as various forms of cultural products and services. The “soul” and the “body” are dependent on each other, complement each other, and come together as one during the process of cultural development. Without the “soul,” the “body” would have no intellectual values to support it. It would lack substance, lose its appeal and influence, and even deviate off the correct course. Without the “body,” the “soul” would have nowhere to attach itself to and no means of being disseminated. There would be no way to materialize the intellectual value of culture. A correct understanding and grasp of the dialectical relationship between the “soul” and the “body” of culture will help us to further clarify our views on certain important relationships regarding culture, such as the relationship between the ideological and commercial attributes of culture; between the social and economic benefits of culture; and between the ideological and artistic qualities of culture. It will help us to be more conscientious and firm in our use of the system of core socialist values to guide cultural development; to further enhance our sense of responsibility and urgency regarding the promotion of cultural reform and development; to continuously strengthen our cultural carriers; and to raise our capacity in cultural transmission. By empowering the “soul” and bolstering the “body,” we will spread the system of core socialist values far and wide, ensuring that this soul for the rejuvenation of the country finds its way deep into the hearts of the people. Therefore, the Decision of the plenary session stressed that we must incorporate the system of core socialist values into the entire course of national education, cultural and ethical development, and Party building; all areas of reform, opening up and socialist modernization; and the whole process of creating, producing and disseminating intellectual and cultural products. We must continue to use the system of core socialist values to guide trends of thought in society, and create throughout the Party and society a unified guiding thought, common ideals and convictions, strong moral fiber and basic ethical standards.


(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No.21, 2011)

Note: This is part of a speech made by Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, at the mobilization meeting of the Central Explanation and Publicity Group for Studying, Publicizing and Implementing the Guidelines of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventeenth CPC Central Committee on October 25, 2011. The original text has been abridged for this publication.

Related readings:

The Sixth Plenary Session of the 17th CPC Central Committee

The 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its Sixth Plenary Session in Beijing from October 15 to 18 2011, adopting the Decision of the CPC Central Committee on Major Issues Pertaining to Deepening Reform of the Cultural System and Promoting the Great Development and Flourishing of Socialist Culture.

Currently, China is facing with rare opportunities for cultural development as the country stands on a pivotal stage for building up an overall prosperous society.

The central authorities have realized that culture has increasingly become a major source of national cohesion and creativity, a major factor in the competition of comprehensive national strength, and a backbone of the country’s economic and social development, while spiritual and cultural contentment is becoming a cordial aspiration for the Chinese people.

The plenum summarized the achievements and experiences from the cultural reforms in the past, and drafted further guidance, goals and major measures that are of significant importance for the country to stick to the path of socialist cultural development with Chinese characteristics.

Qiushi Journal | English Edition of Qiushi Jounrnal | Contact us | Subscription Copyright by Qiushi Journal, All rights reserved