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How to build a strong socialist culture

Source: Understanding China -- 70 Years of Progress and Development Updated: 2020-12-24

"As our economy grows, so will our culture. Gone are the times when we were considered uncivilized, and we will reemerge on the world stage as a sophisticated, advanced culture." Thus spoke Mao Zedong in late September 1949, shortly before the founding of the People's Republic. Over the subsequent seven decades, his words are becoming reality for we are already witnessing a great blooming of socialist culture. 

A nation or a people cannot be strong or prosperous without a thriving culture. Likewise, we cannot achieve the Chinese dream of national renewal without a vigorous socialist culture. We must have self-confidence as we pursue socialism with Chinese characteristics and unleash our creativity and powers of innovation. 

Ideology is a robust line of defense. Ideology determines the evolution and development of a culture. Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, there have been positive development in the political landscape, sending out a clearer, stronger message, so that CPC and society are united in thinking and purpose. Nevertheless, there are still complex competing struggles in political beliefs. A sense of urgency and clear-headedness are necessary, and the Party must ensure its leadership with sound theory and direction as well as appropriate mechanisms to unite the people around common convictions, ideals, values and ethics. 

Building a more civil society is an imperative. Chinese culture is well-known for the great importance it places on social appropriateness and morality. These have been a central part of our lives for thousands of years. Today, people are more patriotic and take pride in their nation, they are more law-abiding and dedicated to their work; increasingly they stand up to wrongdoing, help the needy, and volunteer time and service to public causes, clearly showing that society has become more civil-minded. However, building social morality and ethics is never easy, and must be pursued consciously and effectively. Through examples, education and resolving real problems, the public's sense of social awareness, ethical and civil conduct will become deeper, and society will become better and kinder.

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Centers to Promote Culture 

These centers run by volunteers are set up at the county, township (urban neighborhood) and village (local community) levels. Their purpose is to provide a focal point for various kinds of urban-rural public services, and form part of the "Sanxiaxiang" or "Three Rural Programs" project. This includes organizing and providing educational, cultural and health services to mainly the rural population. Resources are used in new ways to encourage farmers to actively join in the modernization drive. Since September 2018, numerous pilot centers have opened across China. Pictured here is the inauguration of one such center in Yongdeng County, Gansu Province. 

We must enhance the soft power of our culture. In recent years there has been explosive growth on the cultural scene. The number of works of art and culture combined with more sophisticated ways of delivering them have resulted in an increasingly diverse array of activities and products available to the general public. As a result, our culture is also growing in soft power and influence. Currently, China leads the world in the number of TV shows and books released each year, and ranks second in the number of films produced. In 2018, national box office revenues totaled 60.976 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 9.06 percent; 1,082 domestic films were released, generating 37.897 billion yuan in revenue, 25.89 percent higher than the previous year and with a market share of 62.15 percent. Performing arts troupes presented 3,124,600 performances nationwide, reaching an audience of 1.376 billion and generating 36.673 billion yuan in revenue. In the spirit of "each appreciating the best of others, all appreciating the best together", China believes that contacts between different cultures lead to exchanges, mutual learning and development. China has thus never stopped such contacts, and has learned and absorbed from the best of other nations and peoples. 

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County-Level Media Centers 

Media Centers at the county level integrate local TV, radio, printed press and new media into a comprehensive platform that brings together Party-building and public, in addition to value-added services. Around 600 county-level centers opened across the country in 2018, with national coverage scheduled for the end of 2020. Pictured here is the inaugural ceremony of the integrated media center of Xindu District in the city of Chengdu, Sichuan Province. 

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The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations

The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations was held from May 15th to 22nd, 2019. With the theme Deepening Exchanges and Mutual Learning among Civilizations for an Asian Community with a Shared Future, the Conference featured numerous activities, such as Asian Culture Carnival, Asian Civilization Week, Asian Cultural Shows, Asian Civilization Joint Exhibition, Asian Film Week and Asian Food Fests. The Conference was a new platform for Asian and other civilizations to engage on an equal footing to learn from and inspire each other. 

A nation's soul and spirit are rooted in its culture. Over the past seventy years, we have created a vibrant socialist culture, and sent a strong message to the rest of the world. We have described our epic struggles and look forward to national renewal. We know there will be more inspiring cultural successes along the way. 

The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.