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Inclusion central to Beijing's spirit

(China Daily)

08:32, November 04, 2011

BEIJING - Patriotism, innovation, inclusion and social morals - according to a new poll, this group of words is what residents in the capital feel best sums up this bustling metropolis.

As part of the latest effort to promote socialist core values, authorities on Wednesday announced the results of a citywide survey to find a definition for "Beijing spirit".

Residents were given the chance to select from five word clusters provided by a panel of more than 30 experts by voting on popular news websites including Sina and Sohu, or by mail or e-mail between Sept 16 and 25.

Of the 2.9 million votes cast, almost 60 percent were for the winning selection, which will now be used as a slogan for the capital.

Among the losing clusters was once containing the words "upright, inclusive, harmonious and innovation", as well as one that simply said "inclusion and dreams".

"The four words (that won) were more comprehensive and in-depth than the other candidates as they reflect both Beijing's historic and contemporary spirit," said Yan Chongnian, a historian at the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences.

Inclusiveness is the main aspect of the value system, said an official statement about the launch of "Beijing spirit".

"The capital is an open platform and everyone seeking opportunities here is treated equally," explains Fu Hua, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee.

Yu Dan, a cultural expert at Beijing Normal University, believes Beijing is now an "inclusive city", a standard introduced by the United Nation's Human Settlements Program in 2000 that is defined as somewhere that everyone, regardless of wealth, gender, age, race, ethnicity or religion, is enabled to participate productively and positively.

"Beijing is one of the most inclusive cities in the world, as shown by its positive evaluation of the influence and contribution of people from other places and social care provided to vulnerable groups," Yu said.

The official statement says patriotism is included because the city's residents have shown great emotional attachment and dedication to the country in major events like the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, while it is hoped innovation will continue to drive the city forward in scientific and cultural areas. Moral virtues, including honesty and integrity, depict the major qualities of the citizens, said the statement.

Fu Hua said the city government will organize lectures by renowned professors to further interpret the value system and invite more citizens to tell their stories about their understanding of the city's culture and their emotional attachment to the city.

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