Democracy is a symbol of the May Fourth era, and one of the two cores of the so-called ‘May Fourth spirit’ that
generations of Chinese liberal intellectuals energetically want to carry forward in order to promote the liberal develop
ment of democratization in China. In an essay published in January 1919 to celebrate the third anniversary of the
publication of Xin Qingnian (New Youth), Chen Duxiu, one of the intellectual leaders of the New Culture Movement,
respectfully gave democracy and science the nicknames ‘Mr Democracy’ (de xiansheng) and ‘Mr Science’ (sai
xiansheng), and proclaimed that ‘only these two gentlemen can save China from the political, moral, academic, and
intellectual darkness in which it finds itself’.
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