BEIJING, June 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chinese people have long valued the importance of setting lofty goals and striving for them with persistence. "No ambition, no achievement," said Wang Yangming (1472-1529), a Chinese thinker in the Ming Dynasty.
Chinese President Xi Jinping quoted Wang's words in May 2018 to encourage young people to carry on the tradition.
"The Chinese youth should foster a striving spirit, be firm with ideals, hold fast to beliefs, be brave enough to face difficulties and forge ahead, and work hard in an unyielding manner," Xi said during an inspection tour of Peking University in the Chinese capital.
He called on young people to closely link their ideals to the future of the country and strive for national rejuvenation.
From methane tank to Chinese dream
Xi found his career ambition at a young age when working in a small village in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
In 1969, the 15-year-old Xi arrived in Liangjiahe Village as part of a campaign that saw tens of millions of urban educated youth living and working in the countryside. He spent nearly seven years there and discovered his lifelong mission in the process – to make a difference by serving the people.
Xi joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1974. Then, he became the Party secretary of Liangjiahe, and led the villagers to accomplish a series of projects to benefit local residents, including building a dam, methane tanks, a sewing workshop, a consignment store and a mill.
In order to build methane tanks that could provide the villagers with gas for their cookers and lights, Xi traveled to the neighboring Sichuan Province to learn about the techniques. On his return to Liangjiahe, he found out practice was harder than theory.
"The digging of the first methane tank was difficult," he recalled in an interview in 2004. "The water around the tank kept rising, but there was no sign of gas. The problem turned out to be a blocked pipe. When we finally cleared the obstruction, the pipe splashed manure over my face. Immediately, gas started gushing out, so we quickly connected the pipe to the stove. An over 30-cm high flame rose up above our methane stove."
During another interview in 2003, Xi summarized how the experience in Liangjiahe had influenced him: "I saw the power of the people and the foundation of their lives. It was then that I really started to understand the people and society."
Throughout his political career in different parts of China, Xi maintained and strengthened his ties with the people and strived to improve their lives. After becoming a leader at the national level, he called on the whole Party and nation to work together for a better China.
"To meet the people's desire for a happy life is our mission," Xi said when meeting the press after being elected as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in November 2012.
He raised the concept of the Chinese dream two weeks later when attending an exhibition themed "The Road Toward Renewal." He said achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the country's biggest dream in modern times.
In June 2019, the Party leadership launched a nationwide educational campaign among the 90 million CPC members, urging them to stay true to the Party's original aspiration and founding mission – to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
New generations join the mission
Today, more and more young Chinese are joining the mission to create a better future for the country and its people.
Current affairs commentator Einar Tangen said young Chinese people are waking up and want to play an active part in the country's development.
"I think a lot of young people have woken up and said, 'Listen, if China is gonna go forward, it's going to need the best from our generation. And I want to be part of that,'" Tangen told CGTN in a recent interview.
"A lot of the economic success has come over the last 40 years. They're proud of how far China has come," he added.
"We as the young generation hold the responsibilities of the times," said Zhu Yuhuilan, a student at Peking University. "We shall accept our responsibilities and make achievements."
As young generations devote themselves to ambitious goals, China can take on various challenges along its journey more confidently – whether it is poverty relief, the fight against COVID-19 or the transformation of its growth model.