Public Communication in the New Era*
August 21, 2018
To carry out our public communication, we must uphold the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles of the 19th CPC National Congress. We must strengthen our commitment to the Four Consciousnesses and the Four-sphere Confidence. We should uphold socialism, rally public support, foster a new generation with sound values and ethics, develop Chinese culture, and build a positive image of China. With the correct political orientation, we should lay the strategic groundwork, intensify efforts in key areas, and improve working practices and performance, with a view to enhancing our public communication. We should inspire the people to embrace shared ideals, convictions, values and moral standards, and mobilize them to contribute more to the overall interests of our Party and our country.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, we have prioritized our public communication, and adopted a set of important decisions and measures. Under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee, we have worked with great resolve and achieved positive results. We have explored new ground in expanding our Party's theoretical base. Our people have embraced both socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese Dream. The core socialist values and the best of traditional Chinese culture are alive in the people's hearts. Positive thinking and mainstream public opinion have been consolidated. The Chinese people have greater confidence in their own culture. China's soft power and the international influence of Chinese culture have increased significantly. There is closer unity of thinking between Party members and the public. The decisions and plans made by the CPC Central Committee have proved effective in enhancing our public communication.
In practice, we have furthered our understanding of our public communication, and put forward new ideas, perspectives and visions:
• We must uphold CPC leadership over ideological work.
• We have two fundamental tasks in enhancing work in the realm of theoretical work – to consolidate Marxism as the guiding philosophy in China, and to cement the common ground of thinking of the whole Party and the people.
• We must strengthen the whole Party and inspire the people with the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
• We must cultivate and practice the core socialist values.
• Cultural confidence is a more essential, broader and deeper confidence, and represents a more fundamental, more profound and long-lasting force that sustains a country.
• The mass media should expand their penetration, guidance and influence, and enhance credibility.
• Writers and artists should take a people-centered approach.
• We must create a clean and upright cyberspace.
• We need to tell China's stories well and have China's voice heard.
To improve our public communication, we must adhere to and further develop the above ideas.
As Chinese socialism has entered a new era, we must focus on unifying people's thinking and pulling their strength together through our public communication. On the whole, the current situation in this regard is very good. To unite and lead the people to achieve the strategic goals set at the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017, and to strive for the success of Chinese socialism, we need to be more confident and motivated, and work together with one heart. To realize the people's aspiration for a better life must always be the goal of our efforts. We should resolve both their practical problems and ideological questions, increasing public confidence, rallying popular support, gaining people's trust, and building consensus. We must better explain China's development path and China's features. At the same time, we must ensure the country's political and cultural security. We must establish the new while removing the outdated, with the former taking precedence. We must keep increasing the cohesiveness and guidance of socialist ideology. We must understand communication in cyberspace, and improve our ability to utilize and regulate cyberspace, to make the maximum use of the internet for our development.
To improve our public discourse in the new era, we must conscientiously uphold socialism, rally public support, foster a new generation, develop Chinese culture, and build a positive image of China.
Upholding socialism means championing Marxism and Chinese socialism. We must continue to educate the whole Party and the people in the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and advance our work inspired by the thought. We must make a greater effort to study and understand the thought thoroughly, and firmly plant the seeds of Marxism in contemporary China and in the 21st century.
Rallying public support means making sure that public opinion stays on the right track. We must raise our voice in advocating socialism, augment positive energy, extend the influence of mainstream opinion, and bolster the morale of the Party and the people, so that they will unite as one and progress towards the goals set by the CPC Central Committee.
Fostering a new generation means cultivating educated people with sound values and ethics. We must develop a guiding socialist philosophy, inculcate the core socialist values, and put them into practice. We must enhance the public's political awareness and ethical standards, and encourage civil behavior. In this way, we will be able to foster a new generation capable of shouldering the mission of national rejuvenation.
Developing Chinese culture means orienting culture towards socialism. We must promote the creative evolution and development of traditional Chinese culture, inherit our revolutionary cultural traditions, and develop an advanced socialist culture. We must inspire the cultural creativity of our whole nation, and develop a great socialist culture in China.
Building a positive image of China means improving our capacity for international communication, so as to tell better and more accurate stories and make China's voice heard. We should project a true, multi-dimensional and all-round picture of China, and increase China's soft power and the influence of Chinese culture in the world.
The whole Party, especially our colleagues working on public communication, has a strategic task, which is to enhance the appeal of socialism to unite and inspire the people. We should improve theoretical education on Marxism, and in particular ensure a thorough understanding of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era through serious study and practice. The key to developing socialist ideology is to build full confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism. We should consolidate the guiding role of Marxism and develop our philosophy and social sciences with salient Chinese features, style and ethos. We must maintain the right tone in guiding public opinion, strengthen the penetration, guidance, influence and credibility of the media, and promote constructive thoughts and opinion. We should improve means of communication and create new means to promote our Party's innovative theories among the people. We should establish county-level integrated media centers to better inspire and serve the people. We must hold firmly to truth and rectify misconceptions. We should urge Party committees and Party leadership groups at all levels to fulfill their duties to the letter, improve performance, and tighten accountability in the strictest sense.
The purpose of our public communication is to win over more people. Our major responsibility is to foster a new generation capable of shouldering the mission of national rejuvenation. The top priority is to strengthen our ideals and convictions, underpinned by our faith in Marxism, socialism and communism, and our confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of Chinese socialism. We should offer the people better guidance, expose them to successful practices, and provide institutional guarantees. We should see that all areas of social development are imbued with the core socialist values, and encourage the public to honor these values. As young people are in the process of developing their values, we should guide them how to "fasten the first button" of a meaningful life. Publicity is necessary to encourage the public to learn from role models, and to nurture a positive atmosphere of respecting, emulating, honoring and caring for heroes. We should promote good and up-to-date practices and trends, and raise people's moral standards. We should continue the civic morality campaign, and enhance the public's theoretical and political awareness. We should build centers for promoting ethical and cultural progress, to help our people raise their political awareness and moral standards, foster appreciation of fine culture, and enhance social etiquette and civility. To improve civility in rural areas, we should promote healthy practices in place of outdated social mores, nurturing good folk customs, cultivating fine family traditions, and encouraging virtues in individuals.
We should encourage cultural workers to produce works drawing inspiration from everyday life and the experiences of the people. We should encourage them to work hard to create fine works for this great era, works that tell the stories of our Party, our country, our people and our heroes, and works that record the historic progress of the Chinese nation. In promoting the cultural sector, we must always put social benefits first. We should see that writers and artists develop a sound understanding of history, nation, state and culture. They should cultivate refined tastes, styles and a sense of responsibility, and raise their awareness of observing state laws and regulations. Cultural workers should enhance their moral integrity and firmly resist unhealthy tendencies in literary and artistic creation. They should aim to set an example with their works and personal conduct to refine character, inspire minds, and shape social trends. They should produce more wholesome and inspiring online works.
We should ensure consistent and equal access to public cultural services. Efforts to improve cultural services should be led by the government, involve extensive public participation, be more community-focused, and encourage shared benefits through joint contribution. We should expand the coverage and applicability of our basic public cultural services. We should promote the high-quality development of cultural industries, improve modern systems for cultural industries and markets, and support the growth of cultural market players. We should develop new forms of business and new models of consumption in the cultural sector, so that the people have a stronger sense of fulfillment and happiness from enjoying refined cultural products and services. We should further structural reform of the cultural sector and continue to inspire cultural creativity.
We should increase the international influence of Chinese culture. We need to take stock of the global landscape, and take targeted measures when we present the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to the international community. We should find better ways to tell stories about the CPC's governance of China, about our people's hard work to realize the Chinese Dream, and about China's peaceful development through mutually beneficial cooperation, helping the international community to know more about our country. China's finest traditional culture is the cultural lifeline of the Chinese nation. Its visions, concepts, values and moral norms are the core of Chinese thinking, and they also hold invaluable references to resolving problems of humanity. We should extract the cream of traditional Chinese culture, and display those elements that are still relevant in the world today. We should improve our approach to international communication, develop innovative concepts and mechanisms, and gather more resources and strength.
We should uphold and strengthen CPC leadership over our public communication. Reinforcing our Party's political foundations should be the overarching principle. In enhancing our public communication, we must apply the Four Consciousnesses, uphold the authority of the CPC Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership, and maintain the correct political orientation. We must improve our conduct, and oppose the practice of favoring form over substance, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance, the first two in particular. Those working on public communication should absorb new learning, get to know new areas, broaden their horizons, improve their comprehensive skills, and conduct more field research. They should have the will to get down to the grassroots, and improve their ability to observe clearly, to think profoundly and to write powerfully. Our purpose is to forge a workforce, which is innovative, professional, politically upright and practical-minded.
* Main points of the speech at the National Conference on Public Communication.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)