Lift­ing the soul of the na­tion

Progress be­ing made in fight against AIDS

China Daily (USA) - - COMMENT -

Speak­ing atWed­nes­day’s open­ing cer­e­mony for the 10th congress of the China Fed­er­a­tion of Lit­er­ary and Art Cir­cles and the ninth congress of the Chi­ne­seWrit­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping called on Chi­nese artists and writ­ers to step out­side their own space and let their hearts beat in time to the rhythm of the peo­ple’s.

Call­ing peo­ple “the cre­ators of his­tory and sculp­tors of the times”, Xi said their “deeds on an epic scale are abun­dant, we just need the am­bi­tion to make epic works”.

He said the na­tion’s lit­er­ary and artis­tic works should be peo­ple­fo­cused, and artists and writ­ers should serve the peo­ple by in­spir­ing them with works that en­cour­age ev­ery Chi­nese per­son’s “sense of na­tional pride and honor”.

He called for works that cater to the times and fea­ture no­table Chi­nese el­e­ments, which means artists and writ­ers should have a pro­found un­der­stand­ing of Chi­nese cul­ture and a high level of cul­tural con­fi­dence.

To re­al­ize the great re­ju­ve­na­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion, there is need for not only ma­te­rial de­vel­op­ment, but also for cul­tural works that re­flect the times, in­spire peo­ple and en­cour­age them to re­al­ize their dreams.

De­spite suf­fer­ing set­backs and dif­fi­cul­ties in its mil­len­ni­ums-long his­tory, the con­tin­ual sur­vival, de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity of the Chi­nese na­tion is in­sep­a­ra­ble from the vigor of its cul­ture.

Artists and writ­ers should drive home the knowl­edge that cul­ture and the arts are closely re­lated to a na­tion’s des­tiny. Cul­ture is the essence and soul of a coun­try and a na­tion, and with­out cul­tural con­fi­dence, a coun­try will lack an iden­tity of its own.

Vivid sto­ries are not in short sup­ply in China, but the key is to tell them well. “We should sing and hop be­tween the branches and leaves like lit­tle birds, and also fly and take a viewfrom high above like ea­gles,” Xi said. News: Sub­scrip­tion: Ad­ver­tise­ment: Phone app: — PEO­PLE’S DAILY

THURS­DAY WAS THE 29TH WORLD AIDS DAY. Long feared and stig­ma­tized, the dis­ease is less likely to cause as much panic and con­fu­sion among peo­ple as it used to. How­ever, there is still a long way to go in the fight against the dis­ease. Bei­jing News com­mented on Thurs­day:

HIV/AIDS is caused by a virus that in­fects cells of the im­mune sys­tem, weak­en­ing the sys­tem and mak­ing the pa­tient more sus­cep­ti­ble to in­fec­tions. Due to the lack of an ef­fec­tive cure as of now, those with HIV/AIDS still live in the fear of death.

But for many who are in­fected with the virus, the dis­crim­i­na­tion they face has caused tremen­dous harm to their dig­nity and daily lives. There have even been protests against treat­ing those with the virus by some who say it was a “de­served pun­ish­ment” for those who “did not take re­la­tion­ships se­ri­ously”.

The good news is such prej­u­dices are much less seen or heard, thanks to the global ef­forts to pro­mote HIV/AIDS aware­ness and pre­vent transmission of the dis­ease over the past decades. It is es­ti­mated that the num­ber of newly in­fected peo­ple dropped 35 per­cent in 2014, in com­par­i­son to that in 2000, and the re­ported death toll has de­clined 42 per­cent over the same pe­riod.

That has a lot to do with the fact that there are in­creas­ingly suc­cess­ful at­tempts to con­tain the spread of the virus and treat those who are in­fected since med­i­cal treat­ment started to in­volve the com­bi­na­tion of three or more anti-vi­ral drugs two decades ago.

In other words, there is plenty of hope that the once-in­cur­able dis­ease will be­come a con­trol­lable chronic one.

15 Huixin Dongjie Chaoyang, Bei­jing 100029 +86 (0) 10 6491-8366; edi­tor@chi­ +852 2518 5111 +86 400-699-0203; sub­scribe@chi­ +86 (0) 10 6491-8631; ads@chi­ chi­ 1500 Broad­way, Suite 2800, New York

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