"Shout fewer slogans and do more practical things" has become a new slogan in China, a country normally known for having a saying for everything, and being more idealistic than pragmatic.
The changing contents of slogans reflect a changing, richer society. The new sayings haven't gone unnoticed by China-dwellers such as Jacques, a Frenchman who has lived in the country for more than 20 years.
"When I walked along streets about a dozen years ago, I saw slogans everywhere," said the 53-year-old who teaches French at the Wuhan University of Science and Engineering in the capital of central China's Hubei Province. "Now there are still slogans stuck to walls, yet their contents have become more practical."
According to sociologists, in China, where more attention is paid to spiritual influence, slogans reflect the outlook of the Chinese society at different times.
"Class struggle is the key link," the most popular saying in China about two decades ago, has long since been substituted by "Capable people should be allowed to get rich first," illustrating the principle of "focus on economic construction." With the quickening pace of life, the new value of "time is money" prevails.
Currently, such slogans as "get in line with international practice," "progress with the times," "humanitarian concern" and "conserve the ecological balance" can been often seen and heard around China, demonstrating people's desire to participate in the global economy and modernize their mentality.
Professor Zhou Keda with the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences noted that shouting slogans has a long history in China, providing a convenient outlet for people to express their attitudes as well as a simple method of publicity for government policies.
Zhou said slogans bandied about in the past dozen years or so indicate people have more affluence than before.
However, some officials don't practice what they preach, a phenomenon criticized recently by Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
Because of this some votes on untrustworthiness have been introduced in some urban and rural areas in China against officials who make empty talks.
"Seize opportunities" is not merely a slogan of Shanghai people. They saw the opportunity to open up the city more than one decade ago, and grabbed it, transforming the city from the pacesetter of the former central planning economy into a pioneer of the socialist market economy.
"Over the past 13 years, the Chinese economy has grown at an average annual rate of 9.3 percent. This very fact is the best footnote for China's slogans," said Liu Wei, a Chinese economist.