It is impossible to capture 60 years of achievement - or 1.3 billion faces - in the manageable framework of an anniversary special publication. Yet, unabashed and undaunted, it was a task we took upon ourselves. The result is 60 faces intended as representative samples of the Chinese people - and a few foreigners - as we stand today in the glow of our multifaceted triumph.
The People's Republic of China is 60 years old. For a person, 60 is near the retirement age; but for a republic it is just entering adolescence. Youthful vitality and even the occasional recklessness are in order. We may have stumbled in our baby steps, but we are now firm and gallant in our march, brisk and confident in our sprint.
China is on the right path and generations have worked to make this possible. The vision of the pioneers, the courage of stewards when we were perilously close to a wrong turn, the drive and stamina necessary to get things started, the perseverance to go on when things were not in our favor, all this contributed to the majesty of the colossal mansion that is today's China.
Our 5,000 years of civilization has enriched us, providing the soil and nutrients for our growth. Our republic may be young, but our culture is deeply rooted, bonding us together through thick and thin.
This is a celebration of today as well as yesterday. What we have today would not be possible without the hard work and wisdom of our forefathers. It is also a celebration of our tomorrow, which beckons with more allure than ever before. We are standing at the junction in history where everything comes together and takes us to a future filled with hope.
We deliberately eschewed the best-known achievers when we made selections for the profiles. Instead, we opted for those individuals who in a sense symbolize the dynamics of that field or industry. History is made by both celebrated figures and unsung heroes, pillars of society and the foundation of the masses. When we celebrate our achievement, we are celebrating the contribution of everyone in our great country.
What we miss in our capsule vignettes and profiles, we are constantly chronicling in the daily reportage of our newspaper. The happy, the frustrated, the mundane, the extraordinary are all duly recorded, forming a rich mosaic of the modern Chinese. But nobody can present China in its completeness. You have to experience it to appreciate its vastness and diversity. All we have done is provide a glimpse.