A Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture

Beijing (English) - - EDITOR’S NOTE - Trans­lated by Wang Wei, pol­ished by Mark Zuiderveld)

Bei­jing’s res­i­dents of­ten at­test to this city is as a cap­i­tal of cul­ture. Bei­jing is a city with count­less cul­tural her­itage, ad­mired for gen­er­a­tions. If they are yes­ter­day's legacy in Bei­jing, to­day’s Bei­jingers carry for­ward a new cul­ture with a new zeit­geist.

On April 23, 2017, Bei­jing ush­ered in World Book and Copy­right Day, an oc­ca­sion of ad­vo­cat­ing “na­tion­wide read­ing,” with the opening of the 7th Bei­jing Read­ing Festival. At the opening cer­e­mony, a themed project called “Read­ing Bei­jing · Tour­ing Bei­jing · speak­ing Bei­jing · lov­ing Bei­jing” led to an up­surge in read­ing. Ac­cord­ing to the De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme of Na­tion­wide Read­ing dur­ing the 13th Five-year Plan (2016–2020), 2017 is des­ig­nated as “the Year of Read­ing” and a key year for im­ple­ment­ing the pro­gramme.

This read­ing event pro­vides a way for in­her­it­ing a coun­try’s civil­i­sa­tion. Chi­nese have a fond love of read­ing, which has lasted for thou­sands of years. Since the 18th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee headed by com­rade Xi Jin­ping has at­tached im­por­tance to na­tion­wide read­ing and in Novem­ber 2012, a con­gres­sional re­port put for­ward ideas for car­ry­ing out read­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Na­tion­wide read­ing has been in­cluded in the Re­port on the Work of the Govern­ment for three con­sec­u­tive years since 2014. Ac­cord­ing to the 13th Five-year Plan (2016–2020) for Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment of China, pro­mot­ing this has be­come a na­tional strat­egy and one of the ma­jor projects to ad­vance cul­tural de­vel­op­ment. Im­ple­ment­ing na­tion­wide read­ing plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in im­prov­ing ide­o­log­i­cal, moral, and cul­tural and sci­en­tific qual­ity of cit­i­zens, nur­tur­ing and prac­tis­ing core so­cial­ist val­ues, and meet­ing grow­ing needs for those lead­ing a more cul­tur­ally ful­fill­ing life.

The 13th Five-year Plan pe­riod is the de­ci­sive stage for build­ing a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety, achiev­ing the Chi­nese dream and re­ju­ve­nat­ing the Chi­nese nation. As China’s cap­i­tal of cul­ture, Bei­jing’s im­ple­men­ta­tion of na­tion­wide read­ing has grown faster than other re­gions in the coun­try.

When Bei­jingers par­tic­i­pated in the Bei­jing Read­ing Festival, the an­nual “Meet in Bei­jing” Arts Festival opened again. This is China’s large and com­pre­hen­sive in­ter­na­tional art festival and one of Asia’s largest spring arts fes­ti­vals to be held for 16 ses­sions. Over the years, 1,020 art troupes and 32,000 artists from 120 coun­tries and re­gions have pre­sented the world’s cul­ture to Chi­nese au­di­ences at the event.

The 2017 festival sets up a range of themes in­clud­ing mu­sic, dra­mas, dances and ex­hi­bi­tions and in­vites 23 art troupes and more than 400 artists from 21 coun­tries and re­gions to present about 100 shows and pro­grammes. The festival is or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Cul­ture, State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Press, Pub­li­ca­tion, Ra­dio, Film and Tele­vi­sion, the Peo­ple’s Govern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, China Arts and En­ter­tain­ment Group and Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Bureau of Cul­ture.

While read­ing show­cases a city’s lit­er­ary process, the arts en­able a city to show­case its warmth and en­thu­si­asm, pre­sent­ing the city’s tra­di­tions.

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