Top publicity officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Friday called for widening the reforms to revive the country's distributing conglomerate - the Xinhua Bookstore - at the celebration of the one-time revolutionary bookstore's 70th anniversary.
Xinhua Bookstore was set up on April 24, 1937 by Communist revolutionaries in Yan'an, the Communist base in the northwestern Shaanxi Province, to spread revolutionary works and periodicals before the Party rose to power in 1949.
It was once known as the only bookstore in China, having chains across the country, under the planned economy but has seen its influence shrink in recent years as private bookstores continue to spring up in large numbers, fueled by the deepened market economic reforms.
The bookstore itself has developed into a distributing conglomerate, owning 3,100 subsidiary companies, 14,000 chain stores and hiring 150,000 employees.
"For the past 70 years, Xinhua Bookstore has been an important force to promote the Party's policies, culture and thought. It contributed to the development of the Chinese society in both the war time and the peace time," said Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee.
"I hope Xinhua Bookstore can feel the urgency to carry out speedy reforms, in order to meet the public's growing demands for 'food for thought' and in the face of a boom in global culture," Li said.
He also urged the bookstore to better promote Chinese culture on the world market.