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China’s State Media on the Purpose of Cultural Reform

Chinese State Media published a number of articles that comment on cultural system reform as proposed at the sixth plenary session of the 17th Central Committee of the CCP held from October 15 to 18. The aticles suggested the following reasons for China to effectuate cultural reform:

1. Culture, as a “soft power,” is part of a country’s comprehensive national power. Nowadays the Oriental and Western ideologies are interacting and merging. “Whoever’s ideology and values are most widely spread (over the world), and whoever controls the discourse right, will have the greatest influence (over the world).” China needs this “soft power” both to defend against the Western countries’ subversion (“a major reason for the former Soviet Union’s disintegration was the severe decline of its cultural soft power”) and also to exercise its influence over the world. “China needs to have its cultural power match its international status.”

2. Culture has become an important support for economic development. “Culture, economy, and technology are increasingly mingled together. Economy has an increased cultural flavor; likewise, culture has an economic function.” Developing the culture industry can help China boost its economic growth.

3. The CCP wants to use culture to improve its deteriorating moral standards.

1. Qiushi Journal, Oct 14, 2011
2. Xinhua, Oct 18, 2011