Ceremony marking the Centenary of the Communist Youth League of China

A ceremony marking the centenary of the Communist Youth League of China (the League) was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday morning. President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered an important speech.

He stressed that youth gives rise to infinite hope and young people are the creators of a bright future. For the younger generations born in the new era, the timing could not be better for them to complete weighty tasks since they have an incomparably broad stage to display their talents and brighter prospects than ever before to realize their dreams. Realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation is a relay race of history in which today’s young people should strive to deliver their best performance.

President Xi called on the League to focus on the fundamental task of preparing the youth to contribute to and carry forward the socialist cause. The League should nourish the youth for the Party, take on its responsibilities, bear in the mind the interests of the youth, and have the courage to reform itself.

He hopes that the League will unite and help its members and young people grow into new-era exemplary youths who have ideals, dare to assume responsibility, and are hardworking and able to endure hardship, so that they will develop a momentum for national rejuvenation with their youthful energy and creativity and build a better China with their youthful ingenuity and effort.

Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee also attended the event. They are Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng.

The atmosphere was solemn and warm in the banquet hall of the Great Hall of the People. A streamer bearing the words “Ceremony Marking the Centenary of the Communist Youth League of China” hung above the podium. In the middle of the curtain behind was the emblem of the Communist Youth League of China, with a sign reading “1922-2022” below and ten red flags on both sides.

The ceremony began at 10:00 a.m. All rose and sang the national anthem.

After enthusiastic applause, Xi Jinping delivered a speech.

He started by extending warm congratulations and sincere greetings to all League members as well as Communist Youth League organizations and staff at all levels on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.

Since the day of its founding, the Party has paid particular attention to the youth and placed the hopes of China’s revolution on them, Xi noted.

Over the past century, under the Party’s strong leadership, the League has stayed true to its original aspiration and founding mission, organized and guided generation after generation of young people to stay firm in their convictions and loyal to the Party, fight for national independence and the people’s liberation, and contribute to the country’s strength and prosperity and the happiness of the people. Through these efforts, a stirring chapter of youth was written on China’s path toward national rejuvenation.

Over the past century, the Communist Youth League has been of one heart and mind with the Party and followed in its footsteps, he said. It has united and led League members and young people in dedicating themselves to the cause of the Party and the people, devoting their youth to the journey toward national rejuvenation, and thus engraving their glory in the annals of history. Both history and reality tell us that the Communist Youth League of China is worthy of being regarded as the vanguard of the Chinese youth movement, a loyal aide to the Party, and a reliable reserve force.

Over the past century, with firm ideals and strong will, the Communist Youth League has amassed valuable experience, Xi stressed. The 100-year history of the League has defined that upholding Party leadership is crucial to its success, and instilled its political essence of having firm ideals and convictions. The century-long history has also helped build up the League’s strength for contributing to national rejuvenation, and identified taking root among young people as its source of vitality. Such important experience should be drawn upon to make new achievements in the future.

Xi pointed out that on the new journey ahead, how to better unite, organize, and mobilize young people in China’s efforts to achieve the Second Centenary Goal and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation is a major topic that needs to be addressed in the Chinese youth movement and work related to youths in the new era.

He shared his hopes for the League in four aspects.

First, he hopes that the League would nourish the youth for the Party and remain a political school that leads the political advancement of the Chinese youth. The League should be politically-minded, start with ways of thinking, and take into consideration the characteristics of the youth in helping them set lofty goals at an early age, and in fostering their trust for the Party, confidence in socialism with Chinese characteristics and belief in Marxism from the bottom of their heart. The League should be guided by the vitally important goal of making sure that the cause of the Party is carried forward by future generations, and focus on the fundamental task of preparing the youth to contribute to and carry forward the socialist cause. It should help the youth become more proud, confident, and assured in their identity as Chinese people through tempering both in thinking and practice.

Second, he hopes the League would take up its responsibilities and remain a vanguard in organizing the Chinese youth to keep going forward. The League should unite and lead its members and young people in heeding to the call of the Party and the people, bearing in mind the country’s most fundamental interests, shouldering their missions, and realizing their aspirations and making achievements in new fronts in the new era. The League should encourage its members and young people to pursue the great ideal and drive forward the great cause.

Third, he hopes the League would bear in the mind the interests of the youth and remain the strongest bond between the Party and the youth. The League should uphold the lifeline of serving the youth, carry out its political duty of consolidating and expanding the support from the youth for the Party’s governance, and make every effort to benefit the youth, solve their difficulties, think from their perspective, respond to their concerns, and offer the youth tangible support.

Fourth, he hopes the League should have the courage to reform itself and remain an advanced organization that closely follows the Party and stays at the forefront of the times. The League should ensure the overall leadership of the Party throughout the whole process of its work in all areas, follow the Chinese socialist development path of people’s organizations, and deepen its reform. The League should develop a keen understanding of the youth and, in light of the new changes and features of young people’s work and life styles, explore new approaches and models for its primary-level organizations, lead youth and student federations in promoting patriotism and socialism and constantly consolidate and expand the patriotic united front among the youth. The League should also use the Party’s experience and effective practices in strict Party self-governance to improve itself with the spirit of reform and innovation and in a strict and practical manner, and at the same time exercise rigorous self-governance. Through comprehensive and high-standard self-improvement, the Communist Youth League will take on a positive image that reflects the spirit of the times.

Striving for progress is the most precious character of youths, and it is also what is most expected of them by the Party and the people, Xi stressed.

League members in the new era should be role models of upholding lofty ideals and firm beliefs, take the lead in studying Marxist theory, build the ideal of communism and a shared ideal of socialism with Chinese characteristics, conscientiously practice core socialist values, and fully promote patriotism, he said.

They are expected to play an exemplary role by studying hard and boldly engaging in innovation, take the requirements of their jobs as the starting point to improve their capabilities and strive for excellence, and try their best to become backbone personnel and advanced youths.

They should be both brave and adept in carrying out our struggle, lead the way in rising to challenges and tackling tough problems, and refuse to be taken in by fallacies or to tremble in the face of danger.

They should be models of hard work and dedication, take the lead in remaining committed to standing on the side of the people, be realistic, pragmatic, and down-to-earth, be the first to suffer hardship and the last to enjoy comfort, and be willing to play a minor but forever effective role in their posts.

They should set an example in acting in a good and virtuous manner and in observing a strict code of discipline, uphold public and personal morals, abide by disciplinary regulations and the law, and strictly fulfill their obligations as League members.

All League members should receive political training, intensify political tempering, and strive for political advancement. On this basis, they should actively draw closer to the Party, set it as their goal to become a qualified Party member, and take pride in achieving it.

League staff must refine their political character of being loyal to the Party and champion the spirit of pursuing noble ideals, Xi said.

They must consciously practice the mass line and firmly establish a correct mass viewpoint, maintain close ties with youths, be friends instead of “bureaucrats” to youths, and work to better benefit youths rather than themselves.

They must develop a work style of being responsible and practical, refrain from empty talk to do more pragmatic work, have the courage to bear hardships, take on difficult tasks, shoulder heavy responsibilities, and face risks under harsh environments and at the community level, and conduct themselves properly and do solid work.

They must improve moral cultivation to remain honest and self-disciplined, hold regulations and the law in awe and speak and act prudently, constantly build up their willpower, perseverance, and self-control, and be persons who always bear the public good in mind, have a strong sense of righteousness, and remain untainted by malpractices.

On the quest to realize national rejuvenation, the Communist Party of China is the vanguard, the Communist Youth League is the spearhead, and the Young Pioneers is the reserve force, Xi said, adding that joining the Pioneers, the League, and then the Party makes up the “trilogy of life” for youths seeking political advancement.

The League should perform its political duty of guiding all its members, standardize and strengthen mechanisms for the Young Pioneers recommending outstanding members to the Youth League and from the Youth League to the Party, and work hard to improve the interconnection and coordination between personnel cultivation in the Young Pioneers, the Youth League, and the Party.

Party organizations at all levels must attach great importance to the training and recruitment of outstanding young people and should, particularly, focus on cultivating and admitting outstanding Youth League members into the Party, so as to ensure our socialist country never changes its nature.

Party committees and Party leadership groups at all levels must study the laws governing youths’ growth and their contemporary features with great enthusiasm, devote great energy to the work related to youths, and serve wholeheartedly as their confidant and their guide, Xi noted.

Party organizations at all levels must implement the systems and mechanisms for using Party building to lead League building, study and resolve major issues regarding League work on a regular basis, care about and expect more of League staff, and support the League in creatively carrying out their initiatives in accordance with the features of and the laws governing the work on people’s organizations.

For the Party and the country, young people deserve the best protection and bear our highest expectations, Xi stressed.

“They are like the young trees thriving on earth that will eventually grow into towering trees to provide shelter for those in need. They are like the rising sun whose energy keeps on increasing as it climbs up the sky until the moment when it lights and warms up the earth,” he said. “The Party and the country place their hopes on the youth.”

Presiding over the ceremony, Wang Huning said the important speech delivered by President Xi comprehensively reviewed the 100-year history of the League’s unswerving adherence to the instructions and guidance of the Party, and fully recognized that the League, under the Party’s leadership, has united and led generations of League members and young people in making significant contributions to realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

The speech has elucidated the historical experience of the League and youth work, while setting clear requirements for the League’s work in the new era, Wang said.

The speech holds significant political, theoretical, and strategic value and is a sound source of guidance, and we should conscientiously study and understand it, and thoroughly implement it, he said.

He Junke, first secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, and Chen Gang, first secretary of the Secretariat of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, spoke at the ceremony.

Members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, as well as leading members of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the State Council, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the Central Military Commission attended the ceremony.

The event was also attended by about 1,000 people, including leading officials from various departments of the CPC Central Committee, the government, the military and mass organizations, representatives of League members and young people from all walks of life in Beijing and diplomatic envoys from some countries to China.

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