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Premier underscores emancipation of mind, particularly by leaders
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The Chinese, particularly their leaders, must continue to free their minds even after the country is fully modernized, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday.

"We have to free the minds of everyone, particularly of leaders, so that everyone can have independent thought, critical thinking and innovation capabilities," he said at a press conference after the closing ceremony of the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress. "Only in this way can we constantly move our cause forward."

Thirty years after late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping put forward the principle of "freeing our mind, seeking truth from facts, be united and look ahead" and started the reform and opening up drive, Wen said the country will never cease its pursuit of this cause.

"We must continue to say 'no' to blind faith or book worship to maintain the nation's vitality, and continuously keep to the principle that 'practice is the only test to truth'", he said.

China is an ancient country and a new one, said Wen. "Throughout the past 5,000 years, every step we made forward has to do with reform and innovation."

Emancipation of mind was the first of six golden rules China followed in the past five years, when the country reported double-digit economic growth and improved the livelihood of the people by exempting agricultural taxes, subsidizing grain farmers and offering free nine-year education for rural children.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2008)

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