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Speech to a Representative Group of Outstanding Young People

Submit Time:09-10-2013 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Xi Jinping | Source:


  Young friends, comrades,

  Today is Youth Day. On this day devoted to our country’s youth, I am very happy to participate in these activities of the Communist Youth League of China centered on the theme “Youth play a vital role in realizing the Chinese dream,” to meet and talk with outstanding youth of all kinds, and to listen to you express your feelings about advancing together with your motherland and developing with the times.

  First, on behalf of the Party Central Committee I wish the youth of all our country’s ethnic groups a happy holiday. I express my hearty congratulations to all the young people throughout China who are receiving May 4th Medals today, Chinese university students and teaching assistants who have been designated as person of the year in their respective spheres, recipients of National Youth Entreprenurial Awards, recipients of Youth Agriculture Advancement Awards nationwide, and young volunteers who have been singled out for their contribution to western development. I also highly praise progressive youths in all fields of endeavor.

  We have come here to Aerospace City with you young friends today so we all can vicariously experience the spirit of the manned spaceflight and we can encourage all the people, but especially the youth, of all the country’s ethnic groups to strive to realize the Chinese dream of achieving the great revival of the Chinese nation.

  Just now, a number of young people who have distinguished themselves in different ways have given great speeches. In your persons, you embody the lofty aspiration of repaying your motherland for all it has given you, a spirit of boundless vitality, the determination to improve yourselves through your own efforts, and a willingness to dedicate yourselves to a higher purpose. You also fully embody the firm faith of our country’s youth in socialism with Chinese characteristics and their confidence that we will achieve the great revival of the Chinese nation.

  Youth is the time when people are brimming with vitality and driven by dreams. Since the beginning of modern Chinese history, our country’s youth have pursued beautiful dreams, which have always been closely linked with the historical progress of China’s revitalization. During the time of the revolutionary war, countless young people were brimming with revolutionary fervor and boldly braved dangers and shed their blood to win the independence of the nation and the emancipation of the people. In the period of socialist revolution and construction, countless youths answered the call of the Party and willingly went to the wilderness or other hostile environments to safeguard and rebuild the motherland, where they labored selflessly to build New China. In the new historical period of reform and opening up, countless young people raised the slogan of the times calling on all the people to unite together to revitalize the country, and they boldly broke new ground to make the country rich and powerful again. In the recent relief efforts following the Lushan Earthquake, large numbers of young people faced dangers fearlessly and overcame obstacles tenaciously on the front lines of the relief effort, while countless others around the country were greatly moved by the plight of the victims and made selfless contributions to the relief effort.

  Past and present both tell us that if our young people have ideals and the willingness to act on them, our country will have a future, our nation will have hope and we will have an inexhaustible supply of strength to achieve our development goals.

  The Eighteenth National Party Congress set forth a master blueprint for finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and accelerating socialist modernization, and it called for achieving the two “centenary goals,” namely to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (2021) and to turn China into a socialist modern country that is strong, prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the centenary of the People’s Republic of China (2049). We have made it clear we will realize the Chinese dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on the basis of the guidelines of the Eighteenth National Party Congress. At present, everyone is discussing the Chinese dream and pondering how it relates to them, and what they can do to achieve it.

  —The Chinese dream pertains to the past, the present and the future. The Chinese dream is a crystallization of the tireless efforts of countless idealistic people, embraces the yearnings of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, and envisions a bright future in which our country is rich and powerful, the nation flourishes and the people live happy lives.

  —The Chinese dream is the dream of the country, the nation and all its people. If the country is in good shape and the nation is in good shape, the people will be fine. If everyone strives to achieve this beautiful dream, then the aggregation of everyone’s efforts will be a powerful force to achieve the Chinese dream.

  —The Chinese dream is ours, but even more so it is the dream of our young generation. In the end, the great revival of the Chinese nation can be achieved only through the mighty efforts of our young people.

  In the periods of revolution, construction and reform, the CPC always recognized the importance of young people, showed great concern for them, had faith in them, and placed their hopes on them. The CPC always looked upon young people as the future of the motherland and the hope of the nation, always viewed them as the source of new recruits to carry forward the cause of the Party and people, and always supported them in achieving their personal goals while fighting the great struggles of the people.

  Today, we are closer than any time in history to achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we have greater faith that we can achieve it and greater capability to achieve it than ever before. Even if we have already traveled 90% of the way, we are no farther than the midway point: the closer we get to achieving the goal of the great revival of the Chinese nation, the more important it is to increase our efforts and not slacken our pace, and the more we must mobilize all young people to achieve it.

  Looking to the future, we can see that young people will surely have great opportunities to accomplish something, and they will do so. It is a law of history that the waves on the Yangtze River inexorably push the waves ahead of them further down the river, and it is the responsibility for this generation to excel the last one. Today’s young people need to boldly assume the heavy responsibilities that the times impose on them, have high aspirations, keep their feet firmly planted in reality, and turn their dreams into reality in the course realizing the Chinese dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

  First, young people must have firm ideals and convictions. “One must have great ambition to achieve great exploits, and their achievement requires tireless effort.” Ideals guide the direction of people’s lives; faith determines whether their cause succeeds or fails. Without ideals and convictions one’s spirit becomes weak. The Chinese dream is the common ideal of people of all China’s ethnic groups, and it is a lofty long-range ideal that young people should hold on to firmly. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the correct path for leading the people to realize the Chinese dream that the Party articulated only after painstaking explorations, and all young people should firmly adopt it to guide their lives.

  Young people need to arm their minds with Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and ground their ideals and convictions on the rational foundation of scientific theory, a true understanding of the laws of history and a correct grasp of our country’s basic national conditions. They need to constantly strengthen their self-confidence in our path, theory and system, strengthen their conviction in upholding the leadership of the Party, and always follow the Party closely in holding high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

  Second, young people must acquire excellent skills. Study is the stairway on which they mature and progress, and practice is the path by which they hone their skills. The quality and talent of our young people directly affects our ability to realize the Chinese dream. An ancient sage once said, “Knowledge is like a bow, and talent is like an arrow.” This tells us that we need to have deep insight if we are to use our talents to best advantage. Youth is the best time of a person’s life for study, and young people should make study their primary task, and view it as a responsibility, a higher pursuit and a way of life. They should adopt the view that their dreams take shape during their studies and they reach fruition in their careers by using the skills they acquired. They should view diligent study as the motive force that will carry them far in life and view improving their skills as the power to overcome all obstacles.

  Young people need to steadfastly face modernity, the world and the future, and increase their sense of urgency to constantly update their knowledge. They should study like a starving man devours food. They should get a firm grasp of basic knowledge and also update it with every advance of knowledge. They should delve deeply into theory while also mastering skills. They should constantly adapt their qualities and abilities to the changing requirements of the times and their professions. They should put what they learn to use. They should keep in touch with the primary level and the people. They should acquire genuine talent and real knowledge in the crucible of reform, opening up and socialist modernization and in the great school of society. They should cultivate skills that they lack, strive to become pillars that can carry heavy responsibilities, and accomplish great things.

  Third, young people must boldly innovate and create. Creativity is the soul driving a nation’s progress and the inexhaustible source of a country’s prosperity, and it is the deepest attribute of national character of the Chinese nation. This is what is meant by Confucius’ saying, “If you can one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day and let there be daily renovation.” Life never looks after those who cling to old ways and are satisfied with things the way they are; it never waits for anyone who does not make progress and who sits around waiting to share the success of others with folded arms. It always provides opportunities to those who have the ability and courage to innovate. Young people are the group in society that has the most vitality and creativity, so they should stand in the front ranks of innovation and creativity.

  Young people should have the drive to dare to be the first, and boldly emancipate their minds and progress with the times. They should dare to seek high and low for a way to boldly break new ground, and have the ambition to learn from and then surpass their forefathers. “In my youth, I will create a young country and a young nation.” They need to have the will to build a road when they come to a mountain and build a bridge when they come to a river, and boldly overcome every obstacle and go straight ahead when creating something new. They need to have the attitude of exploring true knowledge and being pragmatic so they can constantly accumulate experience and accomplish something in the course of being innovative and creative in their chosen occupation.

  Fourth, young people must be determined to struggle in difficult circumstances. “A sword blade must be honed to make it sharp, and plum blossoms are most fragrant after a cold winter.” People cannot fulfill their dreams with the snap of their fingers; they can fulfill then only by working their fingers to the bone and blazing a trail through the wilderness. Our country was once extremely poor and weak, and it arrived at the prosperity it has today step by step by relying on the tenacity of one generation after another and on our national spirit of constant self-improvement through hard work. We are now presented with important development opportunities but also face unprecedented difficulties and challenges. The dream stretches out before us and the road lies at our feet. Those who master themselves are powerful, and those who strengthen themselves win. If we are to achieve our development goals, our country’s young people must work long and hard without letup.

  Young people need to keep in mind the maxim, “Empty talk leads the country astray, and hard work can revitalize a nation.” They need to put their shoulder to the grindstone and gain a good foothold in their profession. They should start with themselves and accomplish only a little at the beginning, and then through their own hard work they can have an outstanding career filled with significant accomplishments. They should not shirk from difficulty, but should tackle the toughest problems head on, have the courage to go to the primary level where conditions are primitive and to the frontlines of the country’s development to work on difficult groundbreaking projects and develop their abilities. They need to be entrepreneurial and dare to make breakthroughs, find new paths and open new fields of reform and opening up, and constantly open up new realms for development.

  Fifth, young people must develop a noble character. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a form of socialism in which material development and cultural and ethical development go hand in hand. It is difficult for a nation whose people lack inner strength to be self-reliant, and a cause that lacks a cultural buttress cannot survive for long. A country’s young people are a social force that recharges the social atmosphere. To a very considerable extent, a country’s level of cultural attainment is manifested in the ethical level and character of its young people.

  Young people need to intimately integrate correct ethical knowledge, purposeful ethical development and positive ethical behavior; consciously adopt and practice socialist core values; and take the lead in fostering a fine social atmosphere. They should strengthen their intellectual and ethical cultivation; actively foster patriotic, collectivist and socialist thinking; and actively champion social ethics, professional ethics and family virtues. They should keep the maxim “Virtue uplifts and vice debases” firmly in mind, and always maintain a positive attitude toward life, a fine moral character and a healthy interest in life. They should champion new social and cultural currents; take the lead in learning from Lei Feng; actively participate in voluntary service; willingly take on social responsibility; take a warm interest in others; often give concrete assistance to the poor, the weak and the disabled; and spur social progress through their actions.

  The theme of the times of the Chinese youth movement is to strive to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Communist Youth League should carry out extensive educational programs and practical activities for our country’s young people centered on the theme “my Chinese dream.” It should sow the seeds and light the fire of their dream, and get more young people to dare to dream and to pursue their dream and strive to fulfill it, so that all young people increase their youthful energy to achieve their Chinese dream. The Communist Youth League should use the Chinese dream to lay a common ideological foundation for all our country’s young people and teach and help them to adopt a correct worldview, outlook on life and sense of values, so they always deeply love our great motherland, our great Chinese nation and all its people, and steadily follow the Party in taking the Chinese road. It should use the Chinese dream to arouse young people’s sense of historical responsibility, foster the fine tradition that when the Party calls, the Communist Youth League responds, and get young people to consider how their work can fit in and integrate their work with the overall work arrangements of the Party and state. It should organize and mobilize young people to support reform, spur development and preserve stability. It should provide services to help all young people achieve their Chinese dream, and it should genuinely improve its work conduct and work more closely with primary-level organizations and more directly the young people. It should think what young people think and worry about what they worry about, represent and defend the common interests and demands of young people, and strive to build a good environment in which young people can mature and develop their talents.

  Young people who have been identified as model youths are an example for others to follow, take on greater social responsibility, shoulder more public expectations, and play the role of leading other young people as well as the whole of society. I hope that you model youths will redouble your efforts; strictly discipline yourselves; forge ahead with determination; and set an example for other young people with your maturity, pursuit of higher goals, and exemplary behavior.

  When young people flourish, the country flourishes, and when young people are strong, the country is strong. From the day our Party was founded, it always represented, won over and relied on young people. Party committees and governments at all levels should have great faith in young people, show great concern for them and make strict demands on them. They should open up vast spaces where young people’s thoughts can roam, provide a broader arena in which they can act and be creative, offer greater opportunities for them to shape their lives, and create more favorable conditions for them to make contributions and progress. Leading officials at all levels should respect the wishes of young people, help them develop, support them in starting their careers, become a friend they can confide in, and be enthusiastic about their work.

  My young friends, we are all young only once. Now is a time for you to make the most of your youth; the future is a time for you to look back on it fondly. In our lives, sometimes we travel on a level road, and other times it’s all uphill; sometimes we have smooth sailing, and other times we have to weather a storm; and sometimes we can go straight to our goal, and other times we have to make a detour. Young people are faced with a wide range of choices, and they must be guided in the choices they make by a correct worldview, outlook on life and sense of values. The life experiences of countless successful people show that young people’s choice to endure hardships is one that leads to rewards, and their choice to make a contribution is one that wins esteem. Youth is a time when people often experience hard knocks, setbacks and tests, and they are beneficial for putting you on the right track for life. You need to have strength of character to experience both good and bad fortune, have a firm will to keep pressing forward no matter how many setbacks you experience, maintain an optimistic attitude in all circumstances, turn your setbacks into driving force and be able to learn from your experiences so that they raise your life to a higher plane. In short, the only way you can have full, warm and lasting memories of your youth with no regrets is if you work enthusiastically and energetically, tenaciously overcome all obstacles and make a contribution to the people in your youth.

  My young friends, I firmly believe that if the people of all our country’s ethnic groups closely unite under the Party’s leadership, keep their feet firmly planted on solid ground and boldly break new ground, by the middle of this century we can build a prosperous, powerful, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious modern socialist country, and all our country’s young people must witness and share in the realization of the Chinese dream along with the people of all our country’s ethnic groups.


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