This year's Joseph Levenson Book Prize goes to the 2021 work making "the greatest contribution to increasing understanding of the history, culture, society, politics, or economy of China."
Xi Jinping, Achieving Rejuvenation Is the Dream of the Chinese People, November 29, 2012
The exhibition “The Road to Rejuvenation” is about the past, present and future of the Chinese nation, and it is a highly educational and inspiring one. In the old days, the Chinese people went through hardships as grueling as “storming an iron-wall pass.”1 Its sufferings and sacrifices in modern times were rarely seen in the history of the world. However, we Chinese never yielded. We waged indomitable struggles and succeeded in becoming masters of our own destiny. Imbued with the national spirit of patriotism, we have launched the great cause of building the country. Today, the Chinese nation is undergoing profound changes, like “seas becoming mulberry fields.”2 Having reviewed our historical experience and made painstaking efforts to probe our way forward in the past 30 years and more since the reform and opening-up process was started, we have finally embarked on the right path to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and made impressive achievements in this pursuit. This path is one for building socialism with Chinese characteristics. In the future, the Chinese nation will “forge ahead like a gigantic ship breaking through strong winds and heavy waves. ”3 Our struggles in the over 170 years since the Opium War4 have created bright prospects for achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. We are now closer to this goal, and we are more confident and capable of achieving it than at any other time in history.
Reviewing the past, all Party members must bear in mind that backwardness left us vulnerable to attack, whereas only development makes us strong.
Looking at the present, all Party members must bear in mind that the path we take determines our destiny and that we must resolutely keep to the right path that we have found through great difficulties.
Looking ahead at the future, all Party members must bear in mind that we still have a long way to go and much hard work to do before we can turn our blueprint into reality.
Everyone has an ideal, ambition and dream. We are now all talking about the Chinese Dream. In my opinion, achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since the advent of modern times. This dream embodies the long-cherished hope of several generations of the Chinese people, gives expression to the overall interests of the Chinese nation and the Chinese people, and represents the shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation.
History shows that the future and destiny of each and every one of us are closely linked to those of our country and nation. One can do well only when one’s country and nation do well. Achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is both a glorious and arduous mission that requires the dedicated efforts of the Chinese people one generation after another. Empty talk harms the country, while hard work makes it flourish. Our generation of Communists should draw on past progress and chart a new course for the future. We should strengthen Party building, rally all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation around us in a common effort to build our country and develop our nation, and continue to boldly advance towards the goal of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
I firmly believe that the goal of bringing about a moderately prosperous society in all respects can be achieved by 2021, when the CPC celebrates its centenary; the goal of building China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious can be achieved by 2049, when the PRC marks its centenary; and the dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will then be realized.
(Speech made when visiting the exhibition “The Road to Rejuvenation.”)
1 Mao Zedong: “Loushan Pass,” Mao Zedong Poems, Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1998, p. 31.
2 Mao Zedong: “The People’s Liberation Army Captured Nanjing,” ibid., p. 49.
3 Li Bai: The Hard Road: Three Poems. Li Bai (701-762) was a Tang Dynasty poet.
4 The Opium War was a war of British aggression against China from 1840 to 1842. In 1840, in response to China’s opposition to the import of opium from British traders, the British government sent troops to invade China on the excuse of protecting trade. The Chinese troops fought back under the leadership of Lin Zexu (1785-1850), governor of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. People in Guangzhou organized armed groups to fight the invaders. Anti-British struggles were also seen in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. In 1842 British troops invaded the Yangtze River area and forced the Qing government to sign the Treaty of Nanking, the first unequal treaty in the history of modern China.
Wherever you may be, we wish you and those close to you the very best Year of the Rabbit.
Join us for a discussion with Mike Chinoy on his new book that expands on USCI's Assignment: China series.
Join us for Aynne Kokas's discussion of the global battle for control over and use of the personal and institutional data we create every day.