Premier Li Keqiang held a news conference in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 16 at the close of the annual session of the top legislature. Here are the highlights of his speech on the cultural sector.
Protection of cultural relics
The preservation of cultural relics is (aimed at) boosting cultural development in our country, enhancing our moral strength and passing on our traditional culture. It will also help us achieve balanced economic and social development for the many problems that have occurred in our economic domain, such as cheating, swindling in the marketplace, selling fake goods, or loss of good faith. One may also try to find the causes behind those problems on a cultural level and make "cultural prescriptions". The market economy is an economy on the basis of the rule of law with moral principles. So, developing culture will help us enhance moral strength in the course of pursuing modernization. We should not only work hard to create rich material wealth, but also meet our people's growing cultural needs and win the respect of other countries with the strength of culture and civilization.
Encouraging reading of books
Last year, in drafting the Government Work Report, I solicited views from representatives of various circles. And I found that not only people from the cultural and publishing sectors, but also those from the economic and business circles suggested that the government needs to further encourage a love of reading among all the people and should write this into its work report. They also said that they feel deeply concerned that the average per capita amount of reading in China is only about one tenth of that of some other countries in the world. What they said made me think deeply. I believe it shows our people not only want to pursue an increase of material wealth, but also long for better nourishment of the mind.
Books and reading have been essential in carrying forward human civilizations. Reading is what I enjoy the most in my spare time. It makes me feel enriched. And reading has been the most rewarding experience in my life. I hope that all our people can foster a love of reading, and as our people's amount of reading grows, I believe it is also an important symbol of social and cultural progress in China. I hope that more people can make reading a way of life, and find it very useful in work too. Reading can further unlock the potential of innovation and enhance civic morality. That is why I have, for two years running, written this into the Government Work Report, and this will also be the case for next year's report.