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President Xi Jinping sent a message on Thursday congratulating the faculty, students and alumni of Yunnan University as the institution marks its 100th anniversary, and he called on the university to further improve its level of education across the board and cultivate more talent for the country.
Over the past 100 years, the university has taken root in the ethnic minority region in Southwest China, trained a large number of fine talent, contributed to ethnic unity and progress and served regional socioeconomic development, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Xi said he hopes the university, in the new journey of developing China into a strong socialist country and achieving national rejuvenation, can fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the Party's education policies.
He encouraged the higher-education institution to help forge a stronger sense of community for the Chinese nation and make greater contributions to building a country with great strength in education.
Yunnan University, which is located in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, was established in 1923. It is one of the earliest comprehensive universities established in China's western frontier and is the alma mater of more than 300,000 alumni in various sectors.
Fang Jingyun, president of the university, delivered a keynote speech at a ceremony in Kunming to mark the 100th anniversary.
He said the congratulatory letter from Xi is a source of encouragement, and the university will expedite steps to build itself into a top institution and live up to the high expectations from the top leadership.
He described the university's glorious past, including how it brought together top scholars from across the nation during the 1930s and 1940s and trained several academicians.
Chen Fang, deputy dean of the university's school of literature, said Xi has charted the direction forward for the development of the university at a historic juncture for the institution.
Chen, a member of the Dai ethnic group, said it is important for the university's faculty members to better integrate their studies with the demands of national development and continue to fulfill their due responsibilities.