Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, waves to teachers and students during a visit to Renmin University of China in Beijing, capital of China, April 25, 2022. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping visited a prestigious university in Beijing on Monday, spending time with students and faculty members.
The visit to Renmin University of China came about a week before China's Youth Day, and is just one of multiple visits to colleges and universities Xi has taken over the past 10 years as the country's top leader.
"Every year around May 4, I reserve time for young people, listen to them and chat with them," Xi once said.
Over the past decade, Xi has been to universities across the country. He returned to his alma mater Tsinghua University and appeared twice on the campus in its neighboring Peking University. Both are considered top-rated schools in China.
On these occasions, Xi often talked about Chinese and revolutionary traditions and encouraged the students to aim high and study hard to grow into pillars for modernizing China.
In his 2014 visit to Peking University, Xi was greeted by staff and students during a poem recital session set to violin music. The verses -- one about youth and the other penned by Mao Zedong -- were aptly chosen, as Xi's visit coincided with the 95th anniversary of the May 4th Movement.
In a symposium that followed, Xi shared stories from his own youth. "Life is meaningful only when one leads a life with faith, dreams, and endeavors and makes contributions," he told the students.
Referring to the way of fastening their clothes, Xi told the students that the younger generation should "button right" in the early days of their life. He reminded his audience that their values will impact society in the future, and they have reached an age when they must realize and establish their value.
Not only does Xi understand the significance of positive influences during a person's formative years, he actually has direct experience of how it can impact an individual into adulthood. He shared a story with a group of students at the China University of Political Science and Law in 2017.
Back in 1966, as a middle school student, he read the story "Jiao Yulu: A Model County Party Secretary," about a devoted county Party secretary and a hero who died in the line of duty. "It still affects me today," Xi said, elaborating that Jiao Yulu's spirit -- of putting the Party and the people at the forefront of his endeavors -- was like a guiding lantern that steered him toward the country's top leadership.
"As the youth grow in stature and experience, they may see success and joy, but may also experience difficulties and pressure," Xi said. "In the moment, one should treat success and failure with the correct attitude, not slouch in prosperity nor be frustrated in adversity."
For young people, Xi also repeatedly stressed the importance of innovation, and expressed his expectations on them. Ahead of Youth Day in 2016, Xi visited an exhibition on science and technology achievements held at the University of Science and Technology of China, in Anhui Province.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits the museum of Renmin University of China in Beijing, capital of China, April 25, 2022. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
After viewing the displays on cutting-edge technologies, Xi urged the university to "dare to innovate" and told the students to draw inspiration from China's leading scientists.
"You are the future and the hope of the nation," he reminded them.
In the university's library, surrounded by students, Xi took time to speak directly to them: "How do you like studying in the library? Do you have to get here early to secure a seat?"
Xue Weicheng, an undergraduate student at the time, recalled that Xi spoke about China's education system, saying it had its own strengths, which should not be underestimated. "We are also confident in building world-class universities and cultivating world-class talent," Xi said.
On Monday, at Renmin University of China, Xi once again sounded the clarion call for building world-class universities, and urged students to strive vigorously toward national rejuvenation.