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People's Daily Online>>Special Coverage >> China Studies >> Cooperation >> Governance and Policy

Cultural Construction Is "The Spiritual Pillar" Of Social Stability

(People's Daily Online)

16:47, March 14, 2012

Development gap is the primary reason for social instability in China, which includes cultural gap, institutional gap, regional economic gap, functional gap, psychological gap, and so on. All of these aspects contribute to the accumulation of explicit and implicit social instability, and among all the factors, cultural gap is an underlying factor. Culture value is an important part in people's spiritual life, which could determine people's attitudes and inclinations, establish moral standards and norms for behavior, and provide criteria for social interactions and relationships. If there is a deviation in culture values, social deviant behaviors and value conflicts will occur. Therefore culture value is an underlying factor for potential social instability.

China is a unified multi-ethnic civilization state with a large population and vast territory. This feature shapes culture diversity both in terms of ethnic groups and regional populations. In the context of economic globalization and domestic modernization, enhancing the people's identity of the mainstream culture and national identity on the basis of geographical and ethnic cultural development, is the primary task of today's Chinese Communist Party in its cultural construction.

Socialist China at its initial stage has eliminated ethnic exploitation and oppression from its institutional root and endows all people across the country with unprecedented equality and prosperity. However, due to complex factors involving physical geography and history, ethnic inequity or incomplete ethnic equity still exists, and the ethnic issues will last for a long time. Ethnic issues have been and shall remain a significant impact on the past, present and future. Great importance should be paid to ethnic issue since it bears importance to national sovereignty, territorial integrity and social stability, stability of the border areas, economic development and unity of ethnic groups all around the country. The most fundamental basis of ethnic unity is mutual respect and integration with cultures of each other. Culture respect is the primary step for equality, and cultural integration is to enhance the emotional attachments among ethnic groups.

It is the cultural foundation for social stability to lead and respect ethnic consciousness of the people, which includes values, social attitudes, lifestyles, traditional customs, literature and artistic creations, languages, and so on. It is representation of the common psyche, which lead to self-awareness and self-identity for people from the same ethnic group. Ethnic consciousness can be a centripetal force within the people, and may be a repulsive force to foreign people. It is essential to respect the ethnic consciousness of the people to ease its external repulsive force. Therefore, leading the national consciousness is a transcendence of respecting the ethnic consciousness, which could enhance the cohesion between different ethnic groups.

Cultural construction is the spiritual pillar of national unity; similarly, national unity is the deepest root for social stability. Facing the problems and challenges in culture construction, we must enhance the crisis awareness to insist arming the minds of the leaders and the masses of all the ethnic groups with advanced culture of Marxism, and make further innovation on both theory and practice, to strengthen spiritual support for social stability and awareness of the state, citizenship and Chinese nationality, so that the people could have a firm belief on their identity as Chinese people and as Chinese citizens, thus take part in developing a new type of socialist interethnic relationship based on a unity in diversified ethnic groups. The special importance of language should be fully recognized to ensure that the Law of the Peoples Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language could be thoroughly implemented. People from all the ethnic groups should be able to read and use the common language of the nation (Chinese and Mandarin), and furthermore enhance understanding and recognition of the Chinese culture. Excellent achievements of foreign cultures should be learned and absorbed to further promote and consolidate the integration of the Chinese nation. Special attention should be paid to the rise of ethnic awareness in modernization. Following a realistic and pragmatic approach, on the one hand the objective existence of ethnic consciousness should be admitted; but on the other hand, it must be guided by and included within mainstream social ideas. The economic and cultural development of ethnic territories must be guided with the ideas of scientific development outlook and building a harmonious socialist society, so that the material and cultural life of ethnic minorities could be promoted continuously. Featured minority cultures should be developed, and patriotic education should be constantly strengthened. Positive function of various ethnic cultures should be integrated to keep the social stability, consolidate the Chinese cultural advantage of unity in diversity, and enhance the cohesion of the Chinese nation. It is necessary to properly recognize the dual functions of religion in a socialist society. Citizens' freedom of religious belief should be protected, while management of religious affairs should be strengthened in accordance with the law, and the principles of independence and autonomy should be insisted on. Religions should be guided to adapt to socialism, to offset its negative effects and make use of its positive effects to the maximum. Moral value on stabilization from various religions should be integrated to consolidate the equal and harmonious relationship among masses of believers and non-believers, so that people from all the ethnic and religious groups can be unified, and the proactiveness and creativity of vast majority of the people all over the nation could be aggregated, for a common commitment to the cause of building a socialist society with Chinese characteristics.

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