BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called on the country's young people to be patriotic and strive for the bright prospect of national rejuvenation.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a gathering held at the Great Hall of the People to mark the centenary of the May Fourth Movement.
The May Fourth Movement started with mass student protests on May 4, 1919 against the government's response to the Treaty of Versailles that imposed unfair treaties on China and undermined the country's sovereignty after the World War I. It then triggered a national campaign to overthrow the old society and promote new ideas, including science, democracy and Marxism.
Wang Huning presided over the gathering. Other Chinese leaders Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng, and Wang Qishan were also present.
Xi said the May Fourth Movement was a great patriotic and revolutionary campaign pioneered by advanced young intellectuals and joined by the people from all walks of life to resolutely fight imperialism and feudalism.
With its mighty force, the movement inspired the ambition and confidence of the Chinese people and nation to realize national rejuvenation, Xi added.
Xi said the May Fourth Movement gave birth to the great spirit centered on patriotism, progress, democracy and science, with patriotism at the core.
"As long as the banner of patriotism is being held high, the Chinese people can unleash great powers in the endeavors to transform China and the world," Xi said.
The essence of patriotism is having unified love for the country, the Party and socialism, Xi added, urging young Chinese to follow the instructions and guidance of the Party, and remain dedicated to the country and the people.
Young people are also urged to establish belief in Marxism, faith in socialism with Chinese characteristics, as well as confidence in the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Xi said young people always play a vanguard role in realizing national rejuvenation.
In the new era, the theme and direction of Chinese youth movement and the mission of Chinese young people, Xi said, are to uphold the leadership of the CPC, and work along with the people to realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Xi said Chinese youth of the new era should bear their responsibilities of the times and carry on the spirit of arduous struggle.
He urged them to hone abilities and nurture fine morality.
Xi also encouraged young people to not only care about their family and country, but also have concerns for humanity.
Xi said nurturing the young generation is the whole Party's political responsibility.
"We should listen to young people's views on social issues and phenomena, as well as their opinions and advices on the work of the Party and the government," Xi said.
"Even if they express harsh or partial criticism, we should correct our mistakes when we have made any and guard against them when we have not," he added.
Xi called on the Party to address young people's concerns and asked the Communist Youth League of China to unite and lead the young people to strive for the national rejuvenation.
"Young friends," Xi said near the end of his speech. "Let your youth shine even more in the sacrifice for the country, the people, the Chinese nation and humanity."