Wed, May 01, 2019 - Page 5 News List

May 4 marked with call for patriotism

CENTENARY:Xi Jinping appealed to young Chinese to avoid ‘mistaken thoughts’ such as ‘historical nihilism,’ and said that patriotism is the foundation of talent

Reuters, BEIJING

Students applaud at a commemoration ahead of the 100th anniversary of the May 4 Movement at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.

Photo: AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday appealed to young people to love the country and dedicate themselves to the Chinese Communist Party, warning on the centenary of student-led protests that there is no place for those who ignore the nation’s needs.

The May 4 Movement of 1919 started out as anti-imperialist student protests against a decision at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I to award Japan control of German concessions in China’s Shandong Province.

It soon encompassed a broader debate about how China should modernize, having only just overthrown the emperor and ushered in a republic in 1911.

The issue of student protests is especially sensitive in China this year, which also marks three decades since the bloody suppression of pro-democracy protests on and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4.

Speaking to officials and youth delegates at the Great Hall of the People, Xi said that China’s young should be grateful to the party, the country, society and the people.

“Tell every Chinese person that patriotism is one’s duty, is an obligation,” Xi said in comments carried live on state television. “For Chinese youth of the new era, ardently loving the motherland is the foundation of building the body and of talent.”

Xi also warned about the need for young people to be morally upstanding and avoid what he called “mistaken thoughts.”

“In the new era, Chinese youth should consciously establish and practice the core values of socialism, and be good at drawing morality from the traditional virtues of the Chinese people,” he said.

“Consciously resist mistaken thoughts, such as the worship of money, hedonism, extreme individualism and historical nihilism,” Xi added, referring to attempts to re-evaluate core events and personalities of the party’s revolutionary past.

Despite the optimism the May 4 Movement brought at the time, the period following it was marked by turmoil and civil war in China, which eventually led to the overthrow of the republican government, which fled to Taiwan in 1949.

Xi said that China had to make achievements on the back of its own work and not rely on anyone else.

“A bright China is not a gift that can be given by anybody,” he said.

While May 4 remains widely discussed in China, June 4 is taboo and will not be marked by any officially approved events.

Xi is expected to be outside the country early next month on a state visit to Russia and Central Asia.

This story has been viewed 2490 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top