Give of Your Best in National Rejuvenation
Give of Your Best in National Rejuvenation*
May 10, 2022
Realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation is a relay race through time, in which you young people should give of your best in running your leg. Young people have always been entrusted with historic responsibilities. For China’s youth in the new era, the timing is ideal to do great things since you have a vast stage to display your talents, and brighter prospects than ever before of realizing your dreams. At the ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Party of China on July 1, 2021, representatives from the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers declared their commitment to building a strong country. This is what is expected of China’s youth in the new era – a commitment that must be shared by all members of the Party’s youth organization.
On the new journey ahead, there is a major topic that needs to be addressed by China’s youth movement, and in work relating to youth – how to better unite, organize and mobilize young people in the nation’s endeavor to achieve the Second Centenary Goal and realize the Chinese Dream. The Communist Youth League must reinforce its leadership, organization and services, unite its members and other young people, and help them grow into models of the new era who have ideals, the courage to assume responsibilities, the stamina to endure hardship, and the resolve to work hard. In this way, young people will add to the momentum for national rejuvenation with their energy and creativity, and build a better China with their ingenuity and perseverance.
Here I would like to share some of my expectations of the Youth League.
First, I hope that the Youth League will continue to prepare the young people for the cause of the Party and remain a school that helps youth raise their political awareness.
Only those who aim high will scale the heights and look afar, and only those with a global vision will achieve great things. In the prime of youth, you need to have lofty ideals and convictions. By including the word “communist” in the name of the Youth League, the Party hopes that its youth organization will always occupy the high ground of ideals and beliefs, equip young people with the Party’s theories, inspire them with the Party’s original aspiration and founding mission, guide them forward under the Party’s glorious banner, and shape them with the Party’s fine conduct.
Young Chinese in the new era are more confident and capable of self-improvement, and think more critically. But when you come under the influence of diverse ideas, it is inevitable that you may become confused about matters such as ideals and reality, doctrines and practical issues, egoism and altruism, personal interests and the common good, and China and the world. More pertinent, meticulous education and guidance are needed to help young people observe society with a keen eye, think about life with a sober mind, and create the future through your wisdom.
The Youth League is a school for young people to learn through practice about socialism with Chinese characteristics and about communism. It should help you to set lofty goals at an early age, and to build trust in the Party, confidence in Chinese socialism, and faith in Marxism through political and theoretical education adapted to the nature and character of young people. The Youth League should be guided by a vitally important goal – making sure that the cause of our Party is carried forward from generation to generation. It should focus on the fundamental task of preparing our youth to contribute to and carry forward the socialist cause. It should help our young people to become more assured, proud, and confident in their identity as Chinese by tempering themselves in both thought and deed, so that the cause of the Party will be carried on for generations to come.
Second, I hope that the Youth League will fulfill its responsibilities and remain a vanguard in organizing China’s youth to march forward into the future.
Hard work paints a bright backdrop for a young life, and action is the best way for young people to hone their skills. Taking on responsibilities and showing commitment are what brighten the years of one’s youth. Young people are always pioneers who are most passionate about innovation and most motivated to innovate. The cause of the Party and the people would not have advanced without the endeavor and dedication of generations of young aspirants. Only when you people align your passion and vigor with the cause of the Party and the people, can you display your brilliance and apply your energy to the full.
Young people are the most vigorous and enterprising, and the least conservative group in society, who possess endless power to change the world and society for the better. The Youth League should unite its members and other young people and lead them in driving the new era. Young people should heed the call of the Party and the people, bear in mind the country’s most fundamental interests, and fulfill your missions. Set your goals, distinguish yourselves, and be successful in the new era. Pursue the great ideals and drive the great cause. Your hard work should be invested where the Party and the people need it most.
Third, I hope that the Youth League will attend to the interests of China’s youth and remain the strongest bond between them and the Party.
The Youth League is a people’s organization under the leadership of our Party, as well as an organization that belongs to the young. The greatest strength of the organization lies in its extensive network at the grassroots that allows it to stay close to young people. It should focus on its central task of serving young people and carry out its political duty of consolidating and expanding their support for the Party’s governance. It should be a go-between, letting the Party know young people’s aspirations, and communicating the Party’s concern and support for young people. The Youth League should make every effort to benefit young people, solve their difficulties, think from their perspective, respond to their concerns, and make full use of the resources and channels provided by the Party to offer them tangible support. In this way, China’s youth will genuinely feel that the Party is always close by and ready to help.
Fourth, I hope that the Youth League has the courage to reform itself and remain a progressive organization that closely follows the Party and stays at the forefront of the times.
The Youth League must answer two major questions of fundamental importance: What kind of organization should it be, and how should it become that organization? “A fixed system is not able to respond to myriad changes, a single road will not lead to multiple destinations, and a sword lost in a river will not be found by leaving a mark on the boat.” Only through bold self-reform can the Youth League keep pace with the times, with young people’s development, and with innovative trends.
The Youth League should ensure the Party’s overall leadership throughout the process of its work in all areas, follow the Chinese socialist path of developing people’s organizations, focus on the goal of maintaining and strengthening its political commitment, its pioneering nature, and its connection with the people, and continue its self-reform. It should develop a keen understanding of young people and, in the context of the evolving patterns of their work and life, explore new approaches and models for its grassroots organizations. It should lead youth and student federations in promoting patriotism and socialism, and continue to consolidate and expand the patriotic united front among the young. The Youth League should also learn from the Party’s experience and best practices in strict self-governance and apply them to its own self-improvement. It should do so in a strict, rigorous, and practical manner and in a spirit of reform and innovation. Through comprehensive self-improvement and setting high standards, the Youth League will always be an enterprising organization that reflects the spirit of the times.
There is a line in an ancient Chinese poem: “One must experience everything in life for oneself; every step counts on the path to a wider world.” Striving for progress is the most precious characteristic of youth, and also what our Party and the people expect of you most.
In the new era, Youth League members should be role models in upholding lofty ideals and firm beliefs. Take the lead in studying Marxist theory, remain committed to communism as your ultimate ideal and socialism with Chinese characteristics as your shared mission, conscientiously practice the core socialist values, and always love your country. Play an exemplary role in attentive study and bold innovation, commit to your profession to improve your abilities and strive for excellence, and try your best to become reliable workers and pioneers of your trade.
You should be brave and adept in confronting adversity, lead the way in rising to challenges and tackling tough problems, and stand up for yourselves in the face of pressure, danger or threat. Be models of diligence and dedication, stand on the side of the people, be realistic, pragmatic and down-to-earth, be the first to accept hardship and the last to seek comfort, and be willing to forgo the limelight in your work. Set an example in pursuing virtue, observing a strict code of conduct, and upholding political integrity and public and personal morals. Abide by discipline and the law, and fulfill your obligations as members of the Youth League. All League members should receive political training, strive to increase your political awareness and be tempered by political experience. On this basis, you should draw closer to Party organizations, set it as your goal to become a qualified Party member, and take pride in achieving that goal.
For many years, office-bearers of the Youth League have carried forward fine traditions, diligently performed your duties, and made a significant contribution to the Party’s work related to youth. Always maintain your loyalty and political commitment to the Party, pursue noble ideals, and remain clear-minded and strong-hearted. Be like fresh air in the workplace – clean and upbeat. Consciously follow the mass line and firmly uphold the correct mass viewpoint. Maintain close ties with young people, be their friends rather than their superiors, and work more for their benefit and less for yourselves. Develop a responsible and practical approach to work, and walk the walk rather than talking the talk. You must be willing to work at the grassroots where conditions may be harsh, and have the courage to bear hardship, take on difficult tasks, shoulder heavy responsibilities, and even confront danger. Be clean, upright, honest and hard-working. Cultivate your moral compass, remain honest and self-disciplined, and think, speak and act prudently. Build up your resolve, perseverance and self-control, be upright and righteous, always bear the public good in mind, and remain untainted by malpractice.
Revolutionaries are always full of vigor and vitality. Today, a hundred years on from its founding, the CPC is still in its prime, and remains as determined as ever to achieve lasting greatness for the Chinese nation. Quoting Engels, Lenin once said, “We are the party of the future, and the future belongs to the youth. We are a party of innovators, and it is always the youth that most eagerly follows innovators. We are a party that is waging a self-sacrificing struggle against the old rottenness, and youth is always the first to undertake a self-sacrificing struggle.” Both history and our experience show that the CPC is a political party that has always maintained its youthful energy, a party that is worthy of young people’s trust, and a party that is worth following.
On the quest to realize national rejuvenation, the Party is the vanguard, the Youth League is the spearhead, and the Young Pioneers are the reserve force. Joining the Young Pioneers, the Youth League, and then the Party makes up the “trilogy of life” for aspirational young people. The Party has kept its gates open to all young people and will continue to welcome them to add fresh blood to the Party. The Youth League must perform its political duty of guiding the Young Pioneers. It must standardize and strengthen the mechanisms by which the Pioneers recommend outstanding members to the League, and the League recommends outstanding members to the Party. It must ensure a smooth process for developing members from the Pioneers to the League, and from the League to the Party. Party organizations at all levels must attach great importance to the training and admission of outstanding young people and should focus in particular on cultivating and admitting outstanding League members into the Party, so as to ensure that our socialist country never changes its nature.
One of the founders of the CPC, Li Dazhao once said, “Young people are the soul of a country.” The Party’s work relating to young people has been and always will be of strategic importance. Party committees and Party leadership groups at all levels must invest great efforts in understanding the growth of young people and the times they have grown up in, devote great energy to work relating to young people, and serve wholeheartedly as their confidants and their guides.
Party organizations at all levels must implement the systems and mechanisms for strengthening the Youth League as part of their effort to strengthen the Party. They must study and resolve major issues regarding the League on a regular basis, attend to League office-bearers and set higher expectations for them, and support the League in creatively carrying out its initiatives in accordance with the principles governing the development of people’s organizations.
* Part of the speech at a meeting marking the centenary of the Communist Youth League of China.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)