#CHINA70: Greater self-confidence in Chinese culture

Friday, October 11, 2019

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When the archaeological ruins of ancient Liangzhu city were inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in July this year, the news attracted the attention of many Chinese, as archaeological discoveries there have authenticated the 5,000 years' history of Chinese civilisation, which has added to the Chinese people's self-confidence in their own culture.

President Xi Jinping said: “In today's world, if we want to ask which party, which country and which nationality can be confident, then the Communist Party of China (CPC), the People's Republic of China and the Chinese nation have the most reason to be confident.”

Among the four self-confidences, cultural self-confidence is the most fundamental, most extensive and most profound, and it is the source of strength for the country's economic development and social progress.

Where does our cultural self-confidence come from?

Our cultural self-confidence comes from history. China's 5,000 years of civilisation have produced a treasure trove of cultural classics and heritage. Chinese civilisation is the only one of all ancient civilisations that has never been interrupted and it is also a young civilisation. Therefore it has unique cultural genes.

Our self-confidence comes from hard struggle. The revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture that were forged with the sweat and blood of hard struggles over many years are the source of our self-confidence. Such spirits as founding the Communist Party of China in the early 1920s, the Long March, hard struggle in Yan'an, winning the civil war, the good Samaritan known as Lei Feng, starting China's oil industry, making China's atom bomb, hydrogen bomb and artificial satellite with its own efforts, developing China's manned spacecraft, fighting against natural disasters and turning a desert into an oasis, have become sources of strength for the overall development of the country.

Our self-confidence comes from practice. With the policy of “letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thoughts contend”, the development of socialist culture achieved a great deal. Socialist practice with Chinese characteristics has achieved great success since the policy of reform and opening-up was launched in the late 1970s, which has added to the appeal and influence of the socialist culture with Chinese characteristics.

As of August 8, 2018, the book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China has been published in 24 languages and 28 editions, with more than 6.6 million copies distributed, and a second volume has been published in nine languages in 10 editions and more than 13 million copies have been distributed. This shows that China's ideas for governance, as well as its concepts and solutions appeal to an increasing number of countries and regions.

Values epitomise our self-confidence in culture

Core values are the essence of our cultural self-confidence. The CPC and the Chinese people have continuously cultivated and practised core socialist values over the past seven decades. The goals, orientations and principles of such values have found expression on the levels of the State, society and citizens, and they embody the fundamental requirements of socialism.

The core socialist values have been merged into various aspects of social life and become part of people's thinking and behaviour. One after another, role models such as Lei Feng and Jiao Yulu have demonstrated what the core socialist values are. Led by such values, China's ideology has gathered a positive and healthy momentum, which has promoted people's spirit of enterprise and inspired them to do their bit for the country's development and progress.

The progress of social morality and civility finds expression in people's stronger sense of national pride, their enthusiastic patriotism, their greater awareness of abiding by the law, as well as their ever stronger spirit of enterprise. That more people do not hesitate to rush to the help of those in need and there are ever more volunteers for various social undertakings point to the fact that the people have faith, the country has strength, and the nation has hope.

Cultural self-confidence enhances the country's soft power

China's development of culture has prospered in the past 70 years, especially since the implementation of the reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s. A lot of artistic works have been created, cultural undertakings and the cultural industry have witnessed considerable development. Nowadays, China's total number of TV series produced and books published annually ranks first in the world, and the number of films produced ranks second in the world. In 2018 alone, 1,082 films were made, with box revenue totalling nearly 37.9 billion yuan, an increase of 25.89 per cent over the previous year. The number of productions staged by performance groups was about 3.12 million nationwide in 2018, with the number of domestic spectators reaching nearly 1.38 billion.

An increasing number of Chinese cultural brands have gone global. More than 1,500 activities of “Happy Spring Festival”, a cultural exchange activity to celebrate China's traditional Lunar New Year, have been held in 133 countries and regions. As a result, Spring Festival is becoming an international celebration.

More than 500 Confucius Institutes have been established in 146 countries and regions, enrolling 2.3 million students. Cultural exchanges and cooperation have been strengthened with the rest of the world. In May this year, the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations was successfully held, bringing together Asian civilisations and reaching an Asian consensus, displaying China's open attitude toward Asia and the world.

With China's capacity for international communication being continually consolidated, the China story is being well told, and China's voice has been heard much more extensively worldwide, which has greatly consolidated Chinese people's self-confidence in Chinese culture.

Xinhua News Agency is a good example. In foreign languages such as English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Italian and Japanese, the agency provides 5,000 clients with China news 24 hours a day, and its influence has considerably increased in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Commonwealth of Independent States. Its clients in Africa outnumber the total clients of Associated Press, Reuters and AFP. The total number of followers of its overseas social media account New China is 123 million, making it one of the most popular media organisation social media accounts in the world.

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