By Ma Chi
May 4 marks the Youth Day of China. President Xi Jinping once said: "Young people are the future of our nation and the world."
From his years as a grassroots official to the country's top leader, Xi has always kept a part of his heart devoted to young people. Here are several stories of Xi demonstrating his devotion and belief in the younger generations.
Attracting talent for hometown
One day near the end of 1983, Cao Binghai and his fellow students at the Hebei Agricultural University received a letter from their hometown.
"Rural areas are in dire need for students from the agricultural university... The over 400,000 folks of your hometown are eagerly looking forward to your graduation and your contribution of strength and wisdom to the nation's construction," the letter read.
The letter was from Xi Jinping, who was then the Party chief of Zhengding county.
"When I saw the signature 'your comrade', it immediately brought our hearts closer, and the letter let us feel the warmth of our hometown," said Cao.
After writing the letter, Xi invited the students to see the reality of their hometown with their own eyes by conducting a field study in rural areas of Zhengding during the summer vacation.
At the call of Xi, over half of the students from Zhengding who studied at the Hebei Agricultural University from 1984 to 1987 returned to their hometown after graduation.
'Keeping your feet on the ground'
For many young people, Xi is like a friend from whose words and experiences they can find inspiration.
When chatting with students of Jilin University in 2011, Xi used a metaphor to explain the importance of keeping one's feet on the ground.
"There are ancient Chinese sayings: 'A man of learning is superior to others', and "He who excels in study can follow an official career". But in today's world, college students should remain humble and go to grassroots areas and places where their talents are most needed," Xi said.
Dong Tian was one of the students who followed Xi's suggestion.
"Xi told us to 'Aim high, but keep our feet on the ground,' which has become my motto," said Dong.
Heeding Xi's advice, Dong chose to stay at his home province of Jilin and work at the frontline of electricity grid construction instead of heading to big cities like Beijing and Shanghai after graduation.
Sharing his views on belief with the youth
During a visit to Peking University in May 2018, Xi posed a question to students studying at the School of Marxism.
"Why do you study Marxism?" Xi asked.
The question left the students lost in thoughts.
"In retrospect, we think General Secretary Xi, by posing the question, tried to remind us the importance of one's original aspirations," said Fan Jingrong, who was one of the students.
In return, the curious students asked Xi how he grew into a determined Marxist.
Xi said in addition to studying Marxism by reading the original works repeatedly word by word, applying the knowledge learned from the books is the best way to dispel doubt and build firm ideals and convictions.