Share

Xi: Build China’s cultural confidence

President unveils his four expectations for artists, writers to guide revival of nation

President Xi Jinping presented four expectations to guide artists and writers on Wednesday in Beijing. YAO DAWEI / XINHUA

President Xi Jinping has called upon artists in the country to consolidate the confidence in Chinese culture, serve the people and create more inspiring and classical works to revive the nation.

Xi made the comments when addressing the 10th national congress of the Association of Literature and Art and the 9th national congress of the Chinese Writers’ Association on Wednesday.

The gatherings, held every five years and ending on Saturday, bring together the country’s influential elite in literature, art, music, theater, film and other arts.

Delegates and observers said the president’s speech offered wisdom on guiding the development of arts and culture.

Xi had four expectations of the artists. The first is “to consolidate the confidence in Chinese culture and use art to inspire people.”

The second is to “serve and praise the people with positive works”.

The third expectation is to “be more innovative” and the last is to “hold the idea and inspire society with high culture.”

Commenting on the first expectation, Xi said: “To revive the nation, we must be confident in our path, in our theory and in our system as well as our culture. Artists should learn to draw essence and power from Chinese culture to create classical works to inspire people.”

Dancer Wang Yabin, 32, said she was impressed by Xi’s comment about confidence in culture.

“I was trained in traditional Chinese dance as well as classical ballet. When I tour the world, I find foreign audiences love my performance because it combines both the Western techniques and Chinese features,” said Wang, who works with many leading European dance companies, including the national ballet of Britain.

“It is my first time to listen to President Xi speak in person. I am deeply impressed by his passion. It’s lucky for an independent dancer like me to attend the meeting, which broadens my vision of creation,” she said.

Regarding his second expectation, Xi said: “It is the people who create history. Artists should care about people’s lives, voices and emotion, and create works that inspire the people and are appreciated by the people.”

Folk singer Yun Enfeng, 76, said: “I’ve been retired for many years. But after I heard President Xi’s speech, I feel the motivation to sing more songs for the people.

“I remember I performed in a village a few years ago. When I sang the old folk song Red Blossoms all over the Mountains, all the villagers sang together with me because they love the song and the melody has been sung for dozens of years. An old man in his 80s even stood up to salute me.”

Regarding the third and fourth expectations, Xi said: “Artworks reflect a nation’s soft power and creativity. China should not only provide the world a development model but a variety of great artworks.

“Artists have the responsibility to educate people, inspire people and promote positive values.”

Yang Qingxiang, a 36-year-old writer and professor at Renmin University of China, said, “Confidence in Chinese culture is the soul and base among the four ‘confidences’,” referring to Xi’s mention of confidence in the nation’s path, theory, system and culture.

“It is the core value of cultural development. … For a long time, Chinese culture has been challenged by Western culture in our country. The president’s speech gives us direction. It’s the opportunity and responsibility for artists and writers, especially the young generation, to revive Chinese culture and the nation.”