Young People Should Practice the Core Socialist Values


May 4, 2014


Dear students, teachers and friends,


Today, as we celebrate China's Youth Day I'm glad to be here with you, honoring the 95th anniversary of the May 4th Movement. First of all, I'd like to extend, on behalf of the Party Central Committee, my festival greetings to the teachers, staff and students at Peking University and young people of all ethnic groups across the country. Also, I want to express my deepest respects to those who work in the fields of education and youth work throughout the country!


Just now, Zhu Shanlu briefed us on the university's work, and students and young teachers also shared their ideas with us. I was greatly inspired. This is my fifth visit to Peking University since I started to serve on the Party Central Committee, and each time I am here I find something new that impresses me. My feelings soar whenever I walk on this campus full of vigor and vitality, and I can't help but sigh: The current generation of college students is just adorable, trustworthy and reliable, and you are bound to have a bright future.


The May 4th Movement gave birth to the May 4th spirit of patriotism, progress, democracy and science, kicking off the New Democratic Revolution in China, promoting the dissemination of Marxism in the country and laying the groundwork for the founding of the CPC. Since the May 4th Movement, under the leadership of the Party, generations of highly motivated young men and women have written inspiring chapters in the struggles to save the country and rejuvenate the Chinese nation, with the motto "Devoting my youth to creating a family of youth, a country of youth, a nation of youth, a mankind of youth, a planet of youth and a universe of youth."


Peking University was the base of the New Culture Movement as well as a cradle of the May 4th Movement, witnessing this glorious period in modern history. For a long time, teachers and students here have shared a common destiny with the country and the people, and advanced with the times and society, making remarkable contributions to our country's revolution, construction and reform in all respects.


The Two Centenary Goals were put forward at the 18th CPC National Congress. As I have said before, we have never been so close as now to reaching the goal of the great renewal of the Chinese nation, and we are more confident and more capable than ever of fulfilling this goal.


Nevertheless, "A thing is yet to be done until it is done,"  as an old saying goes. The closer we approach the goal the more we should redouble our efforts. We can afford no slackening. More importantly, we should encourage more young people to join the great cause of making the dream come true.


The river of time flows nonstop day and night, and things change as the seasons change. Every generation of young people is offered the opportunities of the era for drawing a picture of life and creating history. Young people, the most sensitive weatherglass of an era, are entrusted with the responsibilities of the times and share the glory of their days.


Today, we are here to honor the May 4th Movement. The best way for us to have the May 4th spirit display widely is to join the team of builders, pioneers and dedicators, and together with the people of all ethnic groups shoulder our historic responsibilities with firm beliefs, high morality, a wealth of knowledge and competent skills.


Students and teachers,


University is a place not just for academic studies but for seeking truth. Today, I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you my insights into the core socialist values. 


I was inspired by the spirit of the May 4th Movement, which embodies the values the Chinese people and nation have pursued in modern history. Today, we should still adhere to and carry out these core values, highlighted by patriotism, progress, democracy and science. Young people, as well as everyone else in the country, should uphold and carry out these core values.


Looking at human history and social development, we find that the most lasting and profound power for a nation and country is the core values acknowledged by all. Core values carry the spiritual aspiration of a nation and country, and represent the standard for judging right and wrong.


An ancient proverb goes, "The way to great learning is to manifest bright virtue and to treat the people as one's own family, thereby arriving at supreme goodness." Core values are in fact individual virtues, as well as public, social and national virtues. A country cannot prosper without virtues, nor can anyone succeed without virtues. Without shared core values, a nation and country will be at a loss to know what is right and what is wrong, and its people will have no code of conduct to follow, the result being that the nation and country can never progress. It has commonly occurred in our history, and still happens across the globe.


China is a big country with 1.3 billion people and 56 ethnic groups. Upon the recognition of the values with the "greatest common denominator" by the people of all ethnic groups, they work with one heart and one mind to strive in unity. This concerns our nation's future and destiny, as well as our people's happiness and well being.


Every era has its spirit, and likewise its values. In ancient China our ancestors developed core values highlighted by "propriety, righteousness, honesty and a sense of shame – the four anchors of our moral foundation, and a question of life and death for the country."This was our ancestors' understanding of their core values. What are the core values for our people and country today? This is both a theoretical and a practical question. We should eventually agree upon this after sorting out opinions and understandings from all walks of life. The core socialist values that we should cultivate and practice are prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship. The values of prosperity, democracy, civility and harmony are for the country; those of freedom, equality, justice and the rule of law for the society; and those of patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship for citizens. They explain what sort of country and society we are striving for, and what kind of citizens we are cultivating.


Since ancient times the Chinese people have developed their country through studying the nature of things to acquire knowledge, correcting thoughts with sincerity, cultivating the moral self, managing the family, governing the state and safeguarding peace under Heaven. As we see it today, the principles of "studying the nature of things, correcting thoughts with sincerity and cultivating the moral self" are for individuals; the principle of "managing the family" is for the society; and those of "governing the state and safeguarding peace under Heaven" are for the country. What we put forward for the core socialist values is a combination of requirements for the country, society and citizens, which represent the nature of socialism, carry forward the fine traditional Chinese culture, draw on the best of world civilization and reflect the spirit of the times.


Prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship are all ideas that inherit the essence of the outstanding traditional Chinese culture, embody the ideals and faith formed by modern Chinese people through unremitting and painstaking efforts, and reflect the wishes and vision of every Chinese citizen. We should foster the core socialist values throughout society. The people should join hands and work persistently to make China richer and stronger, more democratic, more harmonious and more beautiful, so that our country can be confident enough to stand proudly among all other nations.


Since the Opium War of the 1840s the Chinese people have long cherished a dream of realizing a great national rejuvenation and building China into a strong, democratic and harmonious modern socialist country – the highest and most fundamental interests of the nation. And that's what our 1.3 billion people are striving for. China used to be a world economic power. However, it missed its chance in the wake of the Industrial Revolution and the consequent dramatic changes, and thus was left behind and suffered humiliation under foreign invasion. Things got worse especially after the Opium War, when the nation was plagued by poverty and weakness, allowing others to trample upon and manipulate us. We must not let this tragic history repeat itself.  The construction of a strong, democratic and harmonious modern socialist country is our goal and responsibility – for the nation, for our forefathers and for our future generations. Therefore, we should maintain our willpower, intensify our faith, and walk unswervingly along the road towards our destination.