Chinese President Hu Jintao Friday urged Chinese artists and writers to devote themselves to promoting "cultural harmony" as the country strives to build a "socialist harmonious society".
"It is a solemn mission of Chinese artists and writers to promote the prosperity of an advanced socialist culture and build cultural harmony," Hu said in a speech at the opening ceremony of a gathering of Chinese artists and and literary workers.
Hu said artists and writers should remain closely connected with the public so that their work can reflect people's concerns and wishes.
He also encouraged them to "carry forward the spirit of innovation" and explore new areas of art.
In his speech, the top leader said that art work is an important component of the undertakings of the Party and the people, and it enjoys a very important status in China's development.
Every progressive culture is originated from the people, serves the people, and belongs to the people, Hu said. He urged Chinese artists to love the people with true feelings, know the people in real sense, and understand the people with sincerity, so that they will work out excellent works that are welcomed by the people and have profound impacts on the people.
Hu urged local Party organizations to give top priority to cultural development, saying the strengthening and improvement of the Party's leadership over the art work is an important part of efforts to increase the Party's ruling capacity, Hu said.
He called on local Party organizations to build closer ties with artists, provide them with political trust and warm support to their artistic creation, take care of their concerns and try hard to become their close friends.
The five-day meeting -- the 8th Congress of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC) and the 7th Congress of the Chinese Writers Association (CWS)-- attracted more than 3,000 people including Chinese artists from China's mainland and Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, and from abroad.
State leaders including Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun and Luo Gan attended the opening ceremony.
The CFLAC and the CWS, with 420,000 members and 7,700 members respectively, are two leading organizations in China's art and literary circles.
In upcoming days, participants of the two meetings will review their work in the past five years, work out plans for the next five years and elect their respective new leadership.