A Capital of Culture
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.