BEIJING, May 4 -- China's young generation, mostly only children born in the 1980s and 1990s, are embracing and revitalizing the century-old spirit of the May 4th Movement, emphasizing patriotism, progress, democracy and science.
The May 4th Movement was a patriotic campaign launched in 1919 by young Chinese students and intellectuals to fight imperialism and feudalism. It is regarded as a mark of the beginning of the new-democratic revolution in China.
Young people have been an important force in pursuing modernization, social transformation and national rejuvenation in China over the past century.
Born in the most prosperous period of China's modern history and raised during the country's 30-plus years of reform and opening up, young Chinese are quite different from their predecessors.
They are tech-savvy, with deeper global vision, and more respectful and tolerant of both Western culture and Chinese traditions.
This generation, however, has also been colorfully labeled.
They have been called the "spoiled generation," "strawberry generation," and "parent-gnawers," accused of being spoiled, egoistic, dependent and unable to deal with pressure.
Others refer to them as the Bird's Nest Generation, drawn from the nickname of the landmark National Stadium that hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The term reflects self-confidence, a love of peace, patriotism, openness and friendliness.
Though the group may be flawed, the young have sent the message that they are willing to take responsibility and contribute.
More young people have joined the country's volunteer service, especially during the Beijing Olympics and the devastating Wenchuan earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province in 2008.
Hundreds of thousands of college graduates have offered their services as village officials in the countryside since a "College to Village" program started in 2008. Others have volunteered to be teachers in remote rural areas.
In a rare move, 11 Uygur youths with educational backgrounds from nine different colleges nationwide released a signed letter to express their anger at the latest stabbing and slashing spree against unsuspecting passengers at Urumqi railway station and their grief over the lost lives.
Carrying on the May 4th Movement spirit in the new era, young Chinese are showing their patriotism in this peaceful time in a more mature way.
All generations are imprinted with the mark of their times. The May 4th Movement showed the noble spirit of sacrificing oneself for the whole of society and people's aspirations to be stronger.
Carrying the May 4th Movement spirit forward means that today's young people must advance the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics, deepen reform, and realize the "Chinese dream" of the nation's rejuvenation.
Young people born in the 1980s and 1990s has grown into an important part of the country's workforce. The realization of the "Chinese dream" requires the young, and achieving this dream will help China's young generation to be successful.
A young generation with firm will, a strong sense of responsibility and patriotism, and great professional abilities is the hope for realizing the "Chinese dream" in a democratic and scientific way.