17th Central Committee 6th Plenary Session “Culture” Document published

Xinhua news agency published the 17th CCP central committee’s 6th plenary session’s resolution (or decision) earlier this week – republished by China Radio International’s (CRI) Chinese service on Tuesday (GMT). The following are excerpts and summaries from the document.

1) Fully understanding and advancing the importance and urgency of cultural reform and development, raising awareness, increasing self-initiative in promoting the great development and prosperity of socialist culture.


Culture is the pulse of the nation, and the spiritual home of the people. During the process of our country’s more than five-thousand year-old civilization’s development, people of all nationalities have united inseparably, have restlessly strengthened themselves, have unitedly a well-established, broad and profound Chinese culture, and provided the Chinese nation’s development  and growth with strong spiritual power, thus making a significant and indelible contribution to humankind’s civilizational progress.


Ever since the day of its establishment, the Chinese Communist Party has been the faithful inheritor and advocate of the outstanding traditional Chinese culture, and the active  initiator and developer of China’s advanced culture. Our party has always attached great importance to the use of culture to lead into the direction of progress, uniting the hard-working forces, uniting and guiding the nationalities of the whole country, and, by constant new awakening to ideological culture, by theory creating new fruits, by culture establishing new successes, promoted the progressive development of the party and the people. Cultural work has played an irreplaceably important  role in reform, construction, and every historical period of reform.


The following, very long paragraph contains the usual buzzwords, from seeking the truth in the facts (实事求是), the sinicization of marxism (马克思主义中国化), the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics (中国特色社会主义理论体系), the use of sinicized marxism’s newest fruits to arm the party and to educate the people (用马克思主义中国化最新成果武装全党、教育人民), and to use the national spirit with patriotism as its core and the spirit of the times with reform as its core to  the  end of inspiring the will to fight (or morale – 用以爱国主义为核心的民族精神和以改革创新为核心的时代精神鼓舞斗志). Generally, this is a review of maoist and post-maoist concepts. Much of these buzzwords – minus Leninism [Correction – for clarity: Wu Bangguo mentioned Leninism; this document didn’t do so in its first paragraphs. For the document’s referral to Leninism, see part 2 of this translationJR] – had been referred to by Wu Bangguo, in his work report to the 11th “national people’s congress’ fourth session in March. I’m not trying to assess the prominence of either of these buzzwords, in either text.

Given globalization and other major global trends, the document continues, the role of culture in building cohesion within the country, was only the more obvious. The task of making national culture had become harder, and strengthening China’s soft power and its culture’s international influence had become just the more important (当今世界正处在大发展大变革大调整时期,世界多极化、经济全球化深入发展,科学技术日新月异,各种思想文化交流交融交锋更加频繁,文化在综合国力竞争中的地位和作用更加凸显,维护国家文化安全任务更加艰巨,增强国家文化软实力、中华文化国际影响力要求更加紧迫。).

The documents lists “the main contradictions and problems:

  • a lack of awareness in certain locations and (work) units when it comes to the importance of the building of culture
  • the loss or distortion of virtue, sincerity, values and core socialist values
  • a need to increase the ability to guide public opinion, the building and management of the internet, and public cultural services
  • a need to strengthen the international influence of Chinese culture
  • the development (or promotion) of the ranks of cultural talents



These are the lines that caught my eye while reading the document’s fully-understanding chapter (see above blockquote’s headline). I might continue translation this or next week, if it can’t be found in English elsewhere. Once in a while, the CCP’s website publishes English translations of documents like this one. So far, there is only a sparse summary plus some academic reactions available, plus an article on China’s non-Communist parties endorsing the CPC’s decision on boosting cultural development.

continued (Oct 28)  –

part 2 »



» All in Favor of Culture, CMP, Oct 26, 2011
» Dangwai, January 31, 2011
» Global Local Sticks TV, Oct 22, 2009
» Three Eight Hundreds, April 19, 2009


20 Responses to “17th Central Committee 6th Plenary Session “Culture” Document published”

  1. Good on you, JR. I’m certainly not translating it. There’s by far no official English version yet. David Bandurski at China Media Project may be working on it. But I’m not sure. So I’m looking forward to reading yours.


  2. Blogging can be painful, C.A.. ;)

    This is a document of more than 17,000 characters.

    I doubt that the EU had time to translate it, or that Sarkozy would have read it anyway, before making his phonecall. They are too much in a hurry, I guess.

    Basically, I’ve had the feeling during the past year that Chinese-language papers and English-language propaganda leaflets (such as the Global Times were converging to some degree, when it came to content and message – but while I’m still hopeful that the CCP website may provide a full English-language translation (they are usually very proud of their work), China Daily or the Global Times certainly won’t.



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