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New approach brings life to collected speeches

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

09:14, May 09, 2013

Former political leader Li Ruihuan's book offers a new perspective on the country's politics. (China Daily)

Former Party leader Li Ruihuan has published a collection of his speeches in a four-volume book Views and Their Statements.

The book, printed by Renmin University Press, has received good response, with a sale of 200,000 copies in the first month after the book hit the market in March.

Li and the editors selected 1,400 tweet-like entries from the 30 million words material, and broke them into 108 topics covering economics, politics, culture and philosophical thoughts.

"The structure is refreshing, which makes the book more attractive in this age of fast reading and quick information," says Cheng Tianquan, Party chief of Renmin University.

From a carpenter, Li worked his way up to become one of the country's top leaders. He was former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the ruling Party's Central Committee, and former chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Li has already published three books since 2005, including The Pragmatic Route to Truth, and the English version has been well received outside the country. The publisher says Li's books have sold 1.7 million copies so far.

Li began to think of the blueprint for his fourth book in 2011. He wanted a book "that is highly readable and applicable for not only the professionals and theorists but also for other readers seeking wisdom, and that at the same time also reflects Li's thoughts and ideas truthfully", according to the publisher.

The editors and Li ensured that every idea is repeatedly hammered for precision. They often stayed up late to discuss the exact words to use or details like the arrangement of index.

In April, the publisher held a seminar at Renmin University of China to discuss Li's new book.

During the seminar, Hou Huiqin, a scholar with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and other researchers said Li's book offers a new perspective on Chinese political theory and, to some extent, clears ambiguity.

"In stating his ideas on democracy, Li sees beyond the disputes and locates the essence of democracy on how the Party sees its relationship with the people," Hou says.

"Li firmly believes - and practices the belief - that the people are the utmost important factor, and the people's well-being is the key goal," Hou says.

National Defense University of PLA professor Gong Fangbin calls Li his spiritual guide since the 1980s.

Gong believes Li's witty remarks about life are a great inspiration for young readers.

"You open up the window for fresh air, which also lets in flies and mosquitoes. Will you close the window and stifle yourselves? No, you can't," the experts cite among quotes from Li's writings in the 1990s.

To He Yaomin, editor-in-chief of the press, Li was among the leaders who led the country through the harsh international environment, and crucial reform and opening-up stage. "Li's book tells of how China grew and became what it is today, and why it chose a path like this," He says.

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