The First National Conference on Reading was held in Beijing on Saturday. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, sent a congratulatory letter to the conference.
Reading is an important avenue for humans to acquire knowledge, expand wisdom and cultivate virtues, Xi noted. It enlightens us and helps us aim high and stand upright. Since ancient times, the Chinese people have advocated reading and stressed the acquisition of knowledge through studying the nature of things and rectification of mind through thinking with sincerity. Reading helps the Chinese people to carry on the traditional spirit of perseverance and shape their character of self-confidence and self-reliance.
Xi called on Party members and officials to take the lead in reading and learning, foster virtues and ideals and improve abilities. He hoped that all children will have a habit of reading, enjoy reading and grow up in a healthy way. He also expressed a wish that all Chinese people are engaged in reading and contribute to an atmosphere where everyone loves reading, has good books to read and knows how to gain from reading.
Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, read Xi's congratulatory letter and delivered a speech at the conference. He said the letter fully demonstrated that the CPC Central Committee attaches great importance to fostering people's love of reading and a culture of reading in the country. We must study Xi's important instructions conscientiously and put them into practice, Huang said. He called for efforts to encourage reading, create a trend of reading, and set up a system to promote reading in both urban and rural areas. The reading campaign should be extended to cover as many people as possible, while reading should help people learn and improve themselves, said Huang, who added that fostering a culture of reading will help strengthen and enrich the Chinese culture, so as to inject strong impetus into the new journey to fully build a modern socialist China in the new era.
The conference was hosted by the Publishing Bureau under the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and the Publicity Department of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee. The National Press and Publication Administration (the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee), the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and the Beijing Municipal Government oversaw it. Its theme is "promoting reading in the new era and forging ahead on the new journey." The conference includes a series of forums, exhibitions, book launch events and themed activities.
Officials from relevant departments as well as representatives of publishers, social organizations, experts, scholars, writers and readers participated in the conference.