"Empty talk harms the country while solid work makes it flourish" -- behind the 17th-century proverb, repeatedly quoted by President Xi Jinping, lies the tragic fall of a once-powerful Chinese dynasty.
The proverb originates from the book "Record of Daily Knowledge," written by renowned philosopher Gu Yanwu who witnessed the downfall of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). A strong fleet sailed to dozens of countries and regions in Asia and Africa in the prime of the dynasty, several decades before Christopher Columbus set foot on America.
Gu attributed one of the causes to the country's elite indulging in empty rhetoric and abandoning pragmatism. He argued that once the decision-makers and officials at all levels showed no interest in performing their everyday duties, the state would go down to its doom.
Although historians had different views on why the Ming Dynasty collapsed, decision-makers in today's China did listen to Gu's warnings and learned from the historical lesson.
Xi quoted Gu's proverb in November 2012, shortly after being elected general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. He said that achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is a glorious and arduous undertaking that requires common efforts of the Chinese people one generation after another.
Whether in deploying poverty alleviation work, inspecting local affairs, or delivering addresses to high-ranking officials of the CPC, Xi has repeatedly stressed the importance of doing solid work.
In the resolution on major achievements and historical experience of the CPC over the past century, a key document adopted in November 2021, Party members and officials were told to keep in mind the harm of empty talk.
Through unremitting efforts under the Party's leadership, China has realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and managed to eliminate absolute poverty.
The call to make solid efforts was made again on Tuesday at the opening of a study session at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, which was attended by provincial and ministerial-level officials.
Xi urged efforts to champion the great founding spirit of the Party, boost historical confidence, promote unity and solidarity, enhance the fighting spirit, and motivate the whole Party, as well as Chinese people of all ethnic groups, to work tirelessly to realize the Second Centenary Goal.
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