|Chinese President Hu Jintao speaks at a ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), in Beijing, capital of China, May 4, 2012.|
When marking the 90th anniversary of China's national youth organization on Friday, President Hu Jintao stressed the importance of fostering youth organizations and improving the Party's influence among young people.
Hu delivered a keynote speech at a rally in Beijing to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), a mass youth organization under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
CYLC organizations at all levels should adapt to new situations and reform their work, said Hu, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
CYLC organizations should uphold the "right" political direction, implement the CPC's policies in their work and guide young people to follow the CPC down the "road of socialism with Chinese characteristics," he said.
Founded in 1922, the CYLC had a membership of about 75.4 million as of 2007. About one in four, or 24.8 percent, of Chinese youths were members of the body at the time, according to the CYLC Central Committee.
The CYLC has proven itself to be a loyal aide and reserve force of the Party over the past 90 years, the president said.
The CYLC serves as a bridge linking the CPC and Chinese youth, and it remains an important social pillar for the socialist state power, according to Hu.
CPC organs of all levels should consider their job among young people "an essential and strategic one," he said.
They were urged by the president to listen to young people, take care of their needs, encourage their development, support their career plans and issue policies to help create a favorable environment for their health, career and happiness.
In addition, Hu said Chinese youths must unswervingly follow the leadership of the CPC, carry forward patriotism, walk in the forefront of the times and take an active part in the social practices of the Chinese people.
Dr. Zheng Changzhong, with the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, told Xinhua that the CYLC, as an assistant of the CPC, can play a positive role in connecting young people and help enhance the CPC's popularity.
President Hu urged the CYLC to strengthen its grassroots organizations and improve their work to serve young people and protect their legal rights and interests.
An effective network of CYLC will allow the Party to understand and meet the needs of young people, Zheng said.
"The CPC has realized that it would reach young people more easily if its organs can guide them on the basis of serving their needs," he said.
Hu also noted in the speech that youths must be respected as the main body of the Chinese youth movement, urging better efforts to understand and trust them, and give full play to their strengths.
It is very inspiring that the president emphasized the need to understand young people, said Huo Jingyi, an official with the CYLC Shanghai committee.
"For people born in the 1980s and 1990s, it is important to understand them instead of simply asking them to do what you want," Huo said.
"Traditional ways of education might not work today. We are trying to unite them through social activities like volunteer programs."
VOICING HOPE FOR YOUTH
In the speech, Hu said the country's young people have made great achievements over the course of three major eras, including China's revolutionary years, the socialist construction period and the times of opening-up and reform.
From generation to generation, young people have grown up and become the most energetic and active force in society, according to the president.
"History has proved that young people are worthy of high trust and confidence, and are highly promising," Hu said.
The Party attaches great importance to young people, he said, adding that it views China's youth as the hope and future of the nation and the country, as well as an impetus for the work of the Party and the people.
President Hu, who served as first secretary of the CYLC Central Committee Secretariat from 1984 to 1985, said that current generation of Chinese youths has both good fortune and great responsibility.
The president made five proposals to China's young people. Firstly, he expressed hope that youths can uphold their lofty ideals. The young people should believe the socialist system with Chinese characteristics has enormous superiority and strong vitality, he said.
Secondly, young people should study hard to learn all kinds of knowledge and practical capabilities, he urged. Thirdly, he suggested youths work hard and avoid basing their lives on comfort.
Fourthly, the president said he hopes young people maintain enthusiasm for innovation and creativity and, lastly, that they can maintain noble and honorable morals and behavior.
The event was attended by all Standing Committee members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.