Cultural influentials dedicated to making China heard, loved, respected
Telling good stories well
Published: Mar 07, 2023 12:29 AM
Editor's Note: 

A flourishing culture leads to a prosperous country, while a strong culture leads to a strong nation. The year 2023 marks the beginning of the full implementation of the guiding principles laid down at the 20th CPC National Congress. 

This year's two sessions, namely the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), kicked off during the weekend.

Nearly 3,000 NPC deputies and 2,000 members of the CPPCC National Committee congregated in Beijing to discuss state affairs.

Global Times reporters Xu Liuliu, Chen Xi and Li Yuche talked with an NPC deputy and three CPPCC members who are working on better telling the stories of China and showcasing Chinese culture to the world.

Yao Jianping Photo: VCG

Yao Jianping Photo: VCG

Yao Jianping: Creativity, talents needed to 'industrialize' Chinese handicraft industry

According to the China National Light Industrial Council, China is the largest producer and exporter of handicraft products in the world. To keep up with times and further enhance "China's cultural identity" on the world stage, Yao Jianping, an NPC deputy and inheritor of traditional Su Embroidery, has submitted a motion for introducing creative transformations in China's handicraft industry. 

She recommends the industry form a more "complete industrial chain," noting that the current scale of the industry still relies on "individual studios" and "small workshops," and these creative units do not have "strong brand awareness."

"Handicrafts have gradually become 'high-end luxury' products and so they struggle to appeal to the common consumers," she noted, adding it has resulted in difficulties in promoting these products. 

A loss of talent in the industry is also an issue, and Yao has proposed that the government do more to create jobs in the industry and establish training institutions for young talents.

Yao's proposal is based on her experience working in the industry.

Zhenhu Town in Jiangsu Province is called the "hometown of Su Embroidery." 

In 1997, the local government opened an "embroidery street" that has helped local women to earn a living. Now the town has over 8,000 embroiderers and has captured the attention of customers across China. 

"I recommend that industry leaders such as this be promoted. Leading enterprises can provide jobs and guarantee stable employment," she said, noting it can establish a "good cycle of inheritance." 

Taking the growth of technology into consideration, Yao suggested that the traditional handicrafts industry should receive "the same support as the tech industry," and areas such as marketing, intellectual property protection and brand publicity should be improved and made common knowledge in the handicrafts industry. 

The NPC deputy said she believes traditional handicrafts are "cultural properties" more than mere "commodities." 

"We should take advantage of this traditional culture to further economic development," she said, adding that the handicraft industry opens a door for China's rural revitalization and tells Chinese stories to the world through art.