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Culture Minister praises modern China's legacy of creativity
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As China is preparing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Cai Wu, Minister of Culture, reviewed the 60-year history of China's cultural construction.

New China's 60-year history of cultural construction can be divided into three stages, Cai stated at a press conference on September 14. The first stage is from 1949-1966, the second stage from 1966-1976, known as the Cultural Revolution and the third stage started with the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee held in late 1978.

During the first stage, guiding principles for literature and art development were set up, for example developing art for the people and for socialism; encouraging free development of different art forms and styles and promoting the contentions of different schools of thought.

During the period, many brilliant works have been produced. Since 1957, artistic creation was hugely impacted as a result of the "left" deviation in the guiding principle, which maximized the class struggle in ideology and impeded its implementation.

In the second stage, the widespread social and political upheaval dealt a heavy blow to the country's cultural construction and the garden of literature and arts almost became a desert.

In the third stage, benefi ting from 30 years of rapid economic and social development since adopting the reform and opening up policy, China has made remarkable achievements in cultural construction in the following aspects: Literary and artistic creation is booming; the public cultural service system is taking shape; the country has a flourishing cultural market and cultural industry; the country's efforts to protect cultural heritage are fruitful; the country's cultural communication with foreign countries as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan has been expanding; the country's cultural system reform has been deepened; and China now has a well-developed system in place to guarantee the stability of its cultural construction.

Among the Chinese artists with international fame, Zhang Yimou should be especially noted for his outstanding contribution to the arts.

As the chief director for both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games, Zhang presented to the world an amazing gala spectacular and as a unique school of art with a very distinctive style, his works of fi lm, plaza art and "impression" series have contributed greatly to the enrichment of China's culture garden.

Harmony and peace lie in the heart of Chinese culture. High praise for peacefulness, firm belief in unity between man and nature and strong traditional family ethics constitute the fabric of Chinese culture.

Cai categorized China's cultural heritage into two groups – tangible heritage and intangible heritage consisting of the folk cultures of 56 ethnic groups coexisting harmoniously with each other in China.

(Global Times September 28, 2009)

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