The weeklong Spring Festival holiday ended on Wednesday after the reunion of numerous Chinese families around the world. And as President Xi Jinping put it, such family reunions are important to fulfill the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
"During Spring Festival, when members of a family get together, we feel that reunion is happiness and unity is strength," Xi said at a gathering on Feb. 14, two days ahead of Spring Festival.
Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year, is regarded as the most important traditional festival for those of Chinese origin, characterized by family reunions, feasts and performances.
"We should nurture and practice core socialist values, foster the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation and love both family and the country," said Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
The president urged the people to integrate their personal and family dreams with the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
"We should pool the wisdom and strength of more than 1.3 billion Chinese people in more than 400 million households to strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation," he said.
Family bonds stressed
Xi has stressed the importance of family bonds, family love and family values in his speeches in recent years.
While addressing the annual Spring Festival greetings on Jan 26, 2017, Xi called on the nation to love families and friends. Love should reach to every family and bring warmth to all Chinese like a spring breeze blowing across the nation, he said.
"The Chinese people have always valued love and high morality," Xi said. He urged people not to neglect their families, comrades and loved ones, no matter how busy they are in their work.
In his Lunar New Year greetings on Feb 17, 2015, Xi stressed family bonds and family education.
Xi said that Chinese traditions and virtues of family harmony and affection should not be forgotten so as to ensure that the young grow up healthily and senior citizens are taken care of.
"Family is the basic cell of society and the first school of our life," Xi said. No matter how time has changed, the family value, family education and family building must be stressed so that the millions of families become important points for national development, ethnical progress and social harmony, he added.
The president has highlighted the importance of family and stressed family bonds, family values and family education on many occasions.
Noted in report
In his report to the 19th CPC National Congress, Xi called for efforts to cultivate and observe core socialist values through such measures as encouraging extensive public involvement, starting with families and children.
"We will encourage our people to strive for excellence and to develop stronger virtues, respect the elderly, love families and be loyal to the country and the people," Xi said in the report.
While meeting with representatives to the first National Conference of Model Families in December 2016, Xi told a story about family education. The conference was the first of its kind to honor model families selected nationwide. A total of 300 model families won the honor.
"When I was a child, my mother gave me a picture-story book series－The Legend of Yue Fei. One of its more than 10 volumes illustrates Yue Fei's mother tattooing four characters meaning 'serve the country with the utmost loyalty' across his back," Xi said, adding that the story deeply impressed him.
Through the story, Xi told parents to pass down sound moral values to their children from an early age, help them cultivate sound minds and ensure their healthy growth so that they will be useful to the country when they grow up.
"Parents should instruct their children through word and deed, giving them both knowledge and virtue and practicing what they teach. They should help their children button the first button in their lifetime and take the first step on the ladder of life," Xi said.
Only by realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation can the dreams of families come true, Xi added, calling on the people to integrate their love for the family with their love for the nation.
He Yaomin, vice-president of Renmin University of China, said that Xi has highlighted the significance of family values in cultivating socialism's core values.
To implement Xi's important instructions on family values, Renmin University of China has established the country's first museum of family letters, he said, adding that the museum has played an important role in promoting positive family values.
Tian Xueli, deputy Party secretary of Liaoning Daily, said that as a Party-run newspaper, it has shouldered its responsibility in promoting traditional Chinese culture, including family values.
"General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed that no matter how the times change, we should always respect family values," he said.
In January, Liaoning Daily published a set of six books that include nearly 200 letters from family members, such as from a son to a father or a husband to a wife, and more than 100 family stories.
Through these letters, the books show the significance of family values in the process of practicing socialism's core values and the passing on of traditional culture from generation to generation.
Value vital to fight graft
In his speech at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in October, Xi said some leading officials have been found encouraging their family members to accept bribes and the children of many officials have made illegal gains by using the influence of their parents.
"Degraded family value is always an important cause of officials gravely violating discipline and laws," Xi said.
For example, Liu Decheng, son of Liu Tienan, former vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, accepted bribes including money, a Porsche car and a villa in suburban Beijing. Liu Tienan was sentenced in December 2014 to life imprisonment and his son also was tried.
While addressing the first National Conference of Model Families in December 2016, Xi called on top officials to take the lead in maintaining family values and learning from role models such as Jiao Yulu, Gu Wenchang and Yang Shanzhou.
Leading officials and cadres at all levels should teach their children and families to be law-abiding, frugal and self-reliant, Xi said.