An unequivocal message concerning China's ethnic affairs has been conveyed at a two-day meeting that concluded Saturday.
Forging a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation must be the focus of the Party's work on ethnic affairs in the new era, said President Xi Jinping while addressing the central conference on ethnic affairs.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has charted the course for the work related to ethnic affairs in the new era, as China, a unified multi-ethnic country, embarked on a new journey to fully build itself into a modern socialist country.
The sense of community for the Chinese nation is not a new notion. It was put forward by Xi at the second central work conference on Xinjiang in May 2014. He once again highlighted the importance of laying a solid foundation for the sense of community for the Chinese nation at the central conference on ethnic affairs held in September 2014. The idea was enshrined in the Party's Constitution at the 19th CPC National Congress in October 2017.
In his latest speech on ethnic affairs, Xi described the sense of community for the Chinese nation as the vision of a community in which people of all ethnic groups stand with each other through thick and thin, and share the same fate.
"Heightening the sense of community for the Chinese nation is essential to realizing national rejuvenation. It serves as the Party's political declaration and action plan for realizing national rejuvenation," said Yao Shanghai with South-Central University for Nationalities.
Pursuing common interests does not mean ignoring differences. Xi elaborated upon the relationship between the sense of community for the Chinese nation and the consciousness of different ethnic groups.
All ethnic groups should be guided to always place the interests of the Chinese nation above anything else, with their consciousness of different ethnic groups serving the sense of community for the Chinese nation as a whole, he said at the conference.
Efforts should be made to see that the interests of all ethnic groups are realized in the process of the realization of the overall interests of the Chinese nation.
An important principle for making innovations in ethnic work in the new era is to grasp the relationship between seeking common ground and respecting differences, said Sun Ying, dean of the School of Marxism under Minzu University of China.
To stick to this principle, people from all ethnic groups must develop a strong sense of community in which they rise and fall together with a shared future, Sun added.
Xi's remarks have also inspired those working in the field of ethnic affairs. Siqin, head of the ethnic affairs commission of the city of Chifeng, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, became much clearer about the priorities of future work.
Education should be promoted to strengthen the sense of community for the Chinese nation in rural areas, pastoral regions, urban communities and enterprises, and among teenagers and the youth, Siqin said.