Xi stresses building world-class universities to serve nation in visit to Tsinghua
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday stressed adhering to the direction of building world-class universities with Chinese characteristics to serve national rejuvenation as he visited Tsinghua University ahead of its 110th anniversary.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, extended congratulations to Tsinghua's faculty, students and alumni at home and abroad on behalf of the CPC Central Committee. He also sent greetings to young students across China.
Xi said as the new journey to fully build a modern socialist China has begun, the cause of the Party and the country is in unprecedented need of higher education, scientific knowledge and outstanding talents.
China's higher education should make contributions to the prosperity of the country, the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the well-being of the people, Xi said.
He encouraged young people in China to rise up to the mission of national rejuvenation.
Xi, accompanied by Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, visited a special exhibition celebrating the university's anniversary at the Academy of Arts and Design.
Xi called for applying more artistic elements to urban and rural planning and building, and making art achievements better serve the people's need for a high-quality life.
He also encouraged more international cultural exchanges.
While visiting a laboratory on imaging and intelligence, Xi urged steady growth of spending in basic research, and motivated researchers to carry out free exploration, dare to challenge existing theories, and be bold in opening up new directions in scientific research.
"Chinese education is capable of nurturing maestros. We should have faith in that," said Xi.
Xi underlined the importance of strengthening basic research and independent innovation. New ideas and theories should be drawn from China's reform and development, he added.
Xi also met and talked with the faculty representatives, calling on the university to foster virtue through education and take the serving of the country as its highest value.
He asked the university to make greater contributions to realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation and advancing the progress of human civilization.
While visiting a gymnasium, Xi talked with some basketball players practicing there, noting that Tsinghua has a fine sports tradition. He called on the students to carry on the university's traditions regarding both academic study and sports to achieve comprehensive development.
Xi then attended a symposium with representatives of faculty members and students.
Xi said over the past 110 years, Tsinghua has taken root in China, establishing fine traditions of patriotism, dedication and the pursuit of excellence, and nurturing generations of outstanding talents.
Applauding China's achievements in developing higher education since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi said a country's higher education system requires the strong support of world-class universities. He urged efforts to uphold Party leadership and the guiding role of Marxism at such universities.
The key to building world-class universities lies in the unceasing efforts to nurture higher-quality talents, he said.
Demanding efforts to upgrade their current disciplinary system, Xi called on universities to target the frontiers and key areas of science and technology.
World-class universities should also have the courage to tackle problems in core technological research that hinder the country's development, he added.
Xi also called for building platforms for international exchanges and cooperation in education and culture as a joint response to global challenges, and called on young people to love the country and people, refine their morality, dare to innovate, and work hard.
Speaking of the role of teachers, Xi urged the faculty to set a fine example for students.
With a view to achieving cutting-edge academic results globally and serving significant national demands, they should commit themselves to solving practical problems, be good at acquiring new knowledge, and be firm in ideals and convictions, said Xi.