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Understanding China's Youth Day

2014-05-05 10:50:22



National Youth Day, which fell on Sunday, May 4, this year, is a commemoration unique to the country that historians say celebrates some of the ideals that formed modern China. The significance of Youth Day was underscored on Sunday by President Xi Jinping’s visit to Peking University. Citizens and leaders of China are well aware of the importance of Youth Day, but here are some facts that others might not know.

Why Peking University?

Peking University was a launching pad for the May 4th Movement, an anti-imperialist, anti-feudal, political and cultural campaign led by students in 1919.

At that time, the university was a cradle for new ideas and its students were the main force in the movement.

The university provided fertile soil for young pioneers to spread the new concepts. Meanwhile, the movement pushed forward educational reform at the institution. Now, the university is understood as a witness to history.

To remember the May 4th Movement and inform young people, the university now holds activities each year, including inviting young leaders to give speeches, presenting flowers for young pioneers and organizing singing competitions.

Peking University students also travel to other provinces or invite other colleges to visit its campus on Youth Day, aiming to inspire more people’s patriotic enthusiasm and remembrance of Chinese history.

What have China's top officials said on Youth Day?

"I hope more young people like us can go to teach and establish educational career in western and border areas where have harsher condition in our country, living a special wonderful life as taking Chinese dream into practice."

- President Xi Jinping said in a letter in Hebei province in 2014 for Baoding University graduates who teach in western areas.

"How to celebrate the Youth Day? We visited the achievement exhibition of aerospace technology, felt the spirit of manned space flight, and encouraged everyone, including the youth, to fight for the Chinese dream that brings about a great rejuvenation of the country. Such a celebration was very meaningful."

- President Xi Jinping said as he visited China Academy of Space Technology in 2013.

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