Xi tells students to be diligent

Updated: 2014-05-05 08:20

By Cao Yin and Zhang Yue (China Daily)

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President stresses core socialist values during visit to Peking University

President Xi Jinping visited Peking University on Sunday to mark Youth Day, calling on young people to enforce core socialist values and create a wonderful life.

Xi stressed that the core socialist values carry the spiritual pursuit of a nation, and he urged young people to be diligent and honest and to make the core values their basic principles.

Core socialist values comprise a set of moral principles summarized by central authorities as prosperity, democracy, civility, freedom, harmony, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendship.

"University students are lovely, loyal and precious. Young people of every generation have their own opportunities and should create their lives and history," Xi said during a discussion with teachers and students from Peking University.

The core socialist values mix valuable requirements of the nation, society and the public, Xi said. "The youths' value orientation decides the way of a society in the future. The young people are at the stage of building and forming values, so it's important to cultivate them at this time," he said.

Chinese Youth Day was established in December 1949 to commemorate the May 4 Movement in 1919, a student protest that grew out of dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles settlement. It is regarded by China as a patriotic movement against imperialism and feudalism.

The president compared the process of establishing values with fastening one's buttons. "If the first button isn't done correctly, the rest will be wrong," he said.

All young people should work hard, attain knowledge, cultivate virtues and distinguish right from wrong, he added.

The president arrived at the university at 9 am, visiting the humanities academy and biodynamic optical imaging center.

He also participated in a poetry reading and held discussions with students and teachers.

Xi talked with Tang Yijie, an 87-year-old Chinese philosopher at the academy, applauding the expert's efforts in traditional Chinese culture, and also chatted with researchers in the biodynamic optical imaging center.

Zeng Gezi, a sophomore majoring in sociology at Peking University, was one of the students who attended Xi's address.

"I've always found him to be a very nice, amicable president because he always brings his wife on overseas visits, and takes good care of her," Zeng said. It was the first time she had seen the president in person.

"I was super curious to meet the president in person," said Jenny Heyside, a sophomore from the United States majoring in political economics in PKU. "When I met US President Barack Obama a couple of years ago during a fundraising event in the US, the security was extremely intense. But today it seemed OK. At least it did not create too much trouble for students' normal life."

Sun Banghua, an expert from Beijing Normal University, said the visit shows the leadership's attention to youth and their development.

Liu Yunshan, a professor at Peking University, echoed Sun's comments, saying the visit represents the leaders' willingness to solve problems among young people.

Contact the writers at caoyin@chinadaily.com.cn and zhangyue@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 05/05/2014 page5)