Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 4 called on intellectuals to make greater contribution to the nation's development.
Xi, also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when joining a panel discussion with political advisors from three Chinese non-Communist parties.
During the discussion, nine political advisors from the Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party, the China Association for Promoting Democracy, and the Jiu San Society shared their insights on soil pollution prevention, basic education, poverty relief and other topics.
Xi said, after hearing their reports, that China now needs its intellectuals more than ever to contribute to its prosperity, national rejuvenation and people's well-being as the country embarks on its great course.
Intellectuals across the country should take on a sense of urgency and responsibility, and work hard to build China into a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and a major sci-tech power, he said.
Xi said the CPC has always valued the importance of intellectuals, who are "elites of the society, pillars of the nation, pride of the people and treasure of the country."
The whole society should care for and respect intellectuals and cultivate a favorable environment that honors knowledge and intellectuals, Xi said, adding that authorities must fully trust intellectuals and seek their advice on key work and policies.
Xi hoped the intellectuals can consciously take the lead in practicing socialist core values and stick to the principle of putting the interests of the nation and the people before everything else.
In this regard, intellectuals should keep in mind the overall situation of the nation and always pursue truth and righteousness, Xi said.
They should "start with themselves, start with their daily lives and start now," taking the lead in practicing socialist core values, Xi said.
2017 is an important year for the implementation of the country's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and the deepening of supply-side structural reform, Xi said.
He called on them conduct thorough study and research, and raise practical and useful suggestions on how to maintain stable and healthy economic development, as well as social harmony and stability.
Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, also joined the discussion.