CHINA / National

President Hu preaches morality to the Chinese
Updated: 2006-03-16 15:55

President Hu Jintao pinpointed the importance of developing an "advanced socialist culture" earlier this month when he was meeting with members of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's political advisory body.

Detailing the 'advanced socialist culture' President Hu gave a list of do's and don'ts:

Love, do not harm the motherland.
Serve, don't disserve the people.
Uphold science; don't be ignorant and unenlightened.
Work hard; don't be lazy and hate work.
Be united and help each other; don't gain benefits at the expense of others.
Be honest and trustworthy, not profit-mongering at the expense of your values.
Be disciplined and law-abiding instead of chaotic and lawless.
Know plain living and hard struggle, do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures.

Hu's virtues add to efforts by communist leaders to assure the public they are fighting corruption and trying to close the gap between an elite who have profited from China's economic reforms and the poor majority.

The concept, which underscores the value of patriotism, hard work and plain living, belief in science, consciousness of serving the people, solidarity, honesty and credibility, and observation of the law, aims to refresh China's values by amalgamating traditional Chinese values with modern virtues.

"In our socialist society we must not allow the boundaries to be blurred when it comes to right and wrong, evil and kindness, beauty and ugliness," Hu told a March 4 parliamentary seminar, according to newspaper.

"What we support, what we resist, what we oppose and what we promote all must be crystal clear," Hu said, adding that his "socialist concept of honor and disgrace" should be promoted to the masses, especially young people.

The 2,280-member consultative conference _ a gathering of businesspeople, religious leaders and others _ closed its annual session Monday with a resolution praising Hu's list of virtues and pledging to "make it part of social norms."

"It shows that the party has become aware that earlier campaigns were not having much of an impact on the youth," said novelist Zhang Kangkang, a delegate to parliament's main noncommunist advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"They have chosen to use very neutral language, very apolitical language, to get the message across," she said. "It's very populist, very middle-of-the-road."

Sheri Liao, an environmental activist and former philosophy teacher said, "From Deng Xiaoping's saying that 'white cat, black cat' stuff to now, we have, to some extent, lost our sense of morality. It's been 20 years since we threw our morality out the window."

"My personal opinion is that it's a very good thing," Liao said of Hu's value system. "The nation is starting to take an interest in and adopt a friendly attitude to traditional culture and values."

On Tuesday, the aphorisms were issued on a 8 yuan (US$1) poster with plain, black Chinese characters above a photo of the Great Wall.