Chinese Wisdom in Xi's Words: "A long journey can be covered only by taking one step at a time"

(Xinhua) 09:50, April 02, 2022

BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- "A long journey can be covered only by taking one step at a time" -- this ancient Chinese proverb from the Confucian classic "Xunzi" was quoted by President Xi Jinping on several occasions to underline the significance of accumulated efforts.

Xunzi was a renowned Chinese philosopher during the Warring States Period (475 B.C.-221 B.C.) and his namesake book is a compilation of his philosophical writings.

The aforementioned adage comes from the book's chapter on learning encouragement, and Xi used it to share his reading experience with officials attending the opening ceremony of a seminar at the Party School of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in 2009, when he served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and president of the school.

Reading is a long process and requires endurance, Xi told the officials, adding that the result can be surprising if one persists with reading as every little bit adds up.

Though the proverb was originally meant to refer to the long-standing process of learning, it has been widely used to describe other aspects of life -- as the accumulation of tiny efforts over time can lead to big accomplishments.

At the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017, Xi quoted the adage again, in parallel with the Arabian proverb "the Pyramid was built by piling one stone on another" and the European saying "Rome wasn't built in a day," to call for the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative as it is a great undertaking that requires dedicated efforts.

"Let us pursue this initiative step by step and deliver outcomes one by one," Xi said. 

(Web editor: Peng yukai, Liang Jun)


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