Chinese leaders joined noted intellectuals in a party to celebrate the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the Chinese lunar new year, Thursday night at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, and Zhou Yongkang attended the gathering held by the CPC Central Committee.
Some noted intellectuals from the art, science and technology, education, theory and publicity circles were invited to the party.
Li Changchun, who chaired the party, extended festival greetings and nice wishes to all Chinese intellectuals on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.
He said the year 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up drive, and the year Beijing hosts the Olympics. He called on intellectuals to make greater contributions to the development of the country.
He also said the low temperatures, icy rains and heavy snow in the southern part of China have brought huge difficulties to local people, and urged continuing to fight against the disaster and promote fast and sound development.