Xi asks officials to respect intellectuals’ creativity, criticism

Hefei—Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked officials to place more trust in intellectuals, welcome their criticism and limit interference in their creative work.
Xi made the remarks at a meeting in Hefei with scientists and researchers, model workers and young people during his inspection tour of east China’s Anhui Province, according to a press release published Friday.
Communist Party and government departments should fully trust intellectuals and create a favorable environment for them to exercise their talent and develop their careers, the president said.
Officials were urged not to “interfere in the creative work of intellectuals so that they can concentrate on their work.” They should, however, improve communication with intellectuals and help solve difficulties at work and in their personal lives.
Officials should welcome advice and criticism from intellectuals and become “true friends,” Xi stressed. “When opinions are meant well, they should be warmly welcomed. We should accept constructive criticism and be more tolerant and inclusive, even if some opinions are biased or incorrect,” he said, adding that intellectuals should not be blamed or punished for expressing their opinions.
Even if opinions are biased or incorrect, the authorities should not avoid or reject their point of view, rather they should engage with the intellectuals and discuss their views, according to Xi. The president also expects intellectuals to put the country and people first, uphold “the right path” and pursue the truth.
“Under no circumstances should [intellectuals] damage national dignity or violate their conscience,” he said. To better understand the situation of China and the rest of the world, they should not be disparaging toward themselves nor repeat others’ words without thinking, he said.
Xi encouraged them to take the lead in the innovation drive and contribute to the country’s economic and social development as well as improvement of the people’s welfare. They should sharpen creativity, expand the horizon and remain devoted to hard work, Xi said. Xi said some workers may temporarily lose their jobs as China’s economy enters the “new normal” and major restructuring. He asked authorities to ensure basic living standards and create more jobs.—Xinhua

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