President Xi Jinping said Confucian thought can play a positive role in China's development today.
Xi made the remarks while talking to Confucianism scholars during his visit to Confucius' hometown in Shandong province on Tuesday.
China boasts a long traditional culture, and China will create a new glory of its culture, he said in a speech after he listened to a discussion of experts on Confucianism at Qufu, the hometown of Confucius.
Xi stressed that research on Confucius and Confucianism should follow the rules of making the past serve the present and discarding the dross while keeping the essential, so the thoughts of the renowned philosopher of ancient China can exert a positive influence today.
"I will read these two books carefully," he said to his two companions as he looked through classics and periodicals on Confucianism at the Confucius Research Institute with great interest. One of the two books he mentioned was about interpretations on The Analects of Confucius, and the other had quotes from Confucius' talks with family members, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The Confucius Research Institute was established in 1996 to collect literature, encourage communication, and boost academic research and train talents on Confucianism, in addition to serving as a museum. The institute has carried out studies on Confucius temples worldwide and run the academic magazine Journal of Confucius.
Xi also visited the family mansion of Kong, where Confucius' descendents lived. The mansion, which occupies about 13.3 hectares and has about 460 rooms, was built in 1377.
During his visits in Shandong on Monday, Xi sent a basket of flowers to a cemetery of revolutionary martyrs in Linyi and saw the exhibition that showed the history of local residents providing aid for frontline Chinese troops during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). He also visited families of former role models, including the granddaughter of Wang Huanyu, a village woman who helped to take care of Chinese solders' small children during the war.
Linyi is a part of Yimeng Revolutionary Base, which was well known for providing troops to the Chinese army. Among its population of 4.2 million at that time, more than 210,000 locals joined the Red Army and 1.2 million offered logistical help during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and China's War of Liberation (1946-49).
On Monday evening, Xi visited Shandong Ruyi Group, a textile company in Jining, and urged the company owner to pay more attention to employees' welfare and interests.