|President Xi Jinping delivers New Year Message|
As a Chinese adage goes, hard work always pays off. Indeed, our hard work has brought remarkable change to China. In 2017, we held the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, embarking on a new journey of making all-round efforts to build a modern socialist country. China’s GDP has exceeded RMB80 trillion. More than 13 million new jobs have been created in urban and rural areas. Over 900 million Chinese are now covered by social pension insurance and 1.35 billion Chinese have access to basic medical insurance. Another 10 million-plus rural people have been lifted out of poverty. “How wonderful it would be if all the poor people could be properly sheltered!” Such was the longing of an ancient Chinese poet. Thanks to our poverty alleviation efforts, 3.4 million poor people have been relocated and moved into new and warm homes, and the building of 6 million housing units in run-down areas has begun ahead of schedule. We have stepped up initiatives to improve people’s lives and steadily improved the eco-environment, and our people have a stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness and security. In short, we have taken another big step towards the goal of bringing to completion the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The past year has seen a number of major innovation and engineering success stories. Huiyan, a hard X-ray modulation telescope, was launched into space. The C919 large passenger jet completed its maiden flight. The quantum computer was successfully developed. A trial was conducted for growing rice in saline soil by the sea.
The first Chinese-built aircraft carrier was launched. Haiyi, an underwater glider, conducted deep-sea observations. Under-sea combustible ice was successfully extracted for the first time. Phase IV of Yangshan Automated Port is now operational. The main structure of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge was completed, and the Fuxing high-speed trains have been put into service … A big cheer to you, my fellow Chinese, for your great ingenuity!
We held a military parade at Zhurihe training base in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army. I attended Hong Kong’s celebrations of the 20th anniversary of its return to the motherland. As I could see first-hand, with the strong backing of the motherland, Hong Kong enjoys long-term prosperity and stability, and there is no doubt that Hong Kong will have an even better tomorrow. We also held a ceremony in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the full outbreak of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and a national memorial ceremony for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre to honor those who lost their lives and express our resolve to uphold peace.
China played host to several multilateral diplomatic events, including the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the BRICS Xiamen Summit, and the CPC in Dialogue with the World Political Parties High-level Meeting. I also attended several major multilateral meetings. At the beginning of the year, I attended the annual World Economic Forum in Davos and delivered a speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva. Later in the year, I attended the G20 Summit and the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. On those occasions, I had in-depth exchange of views with global leaders, and we all agreed that it is imperative to build a community with a shared future for mankind to deliver benefits to people of all countries.
In 2017, I continued to receive many letters from the public, including villagers from Yumai Township of Longzi County in Tibet, members of the Ulan Muqir Art Troupe of Sonid Right Banner of Inner Mongolia, retired professors of Xi’an Jiaotong University who have been with the university since it was moved to Xi’an several decades ago, and undergraduates from Nankai University who joined military service. Their stories moved me deeply. You, the people, with a strong sense of patriotism, have devoted yourselves to our common cause without regret or complaint. You, the ordinary Chinese in hundreds and millions, are the greatest heroes! What you have achieved shows that happiness is earned through hard work.
The year 2018 will be the first year for us in China to move towards the goal set by the Communist Party of China at its 19th National Congress. The 19th Party Congress drew up a blueprint for China’s development in the next three decades and more. As a Chinese saying goes, the building of a nine-storey tower begins with shoveling the first pile of earth. To turn this blueprint into reality, we must not entertain impractical notions or indulge in rhetoric. What we should do is be down-to-earth in our approach, take one step at a time as we move foward and deliver solid outcomes.
The year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. Reform and opening-up is the only way that will lead today’s China to achieve development and progress; and only by pursuing reform and opening-up can we realize the Chinese dream. We will generate momentum for reform and opening-up by celebrating its 40th anniversary, and, with the tenacity of cutting a path through the mountain rocks and building a bridge across the rapid currents, carry reform through to its ultimate success.
By 2020, China will have lifted its rural population living below the current poverty line out of poverty. This is a solemn pledge we have made, and we must honor it. With only three years to go, all of us in the country must plunge into action and take targeted steps to reach our goal. Winning this tough battle against poverty within three years means that for the first time in China’s history of several thousand years, extreme poverty will be eliminated across the country. Let’s work together to accomplish this cause, a cause that is of monumental significance to both us as the Chinese nation and the whole mankind.
Today, people in the world have both hope and concern about the prospects of peace and development, and they want to know where China stands. The world is one big family. As a responsible major country, China has this to say: China will resolutely uphold the authority and stature of the United Nations, fulfill its due international obligations and responsibilities, honor its commitment on climate change, actively pursue the Belt and Road Initiative, and continue its efforts to safeguard world peace, promote global development and uphold the international order. We Chinese will continue to work together with people of all other countries to deliver a future of greater prosperity and peace for mankind.
China’s great progress is achieved by our people and must be shared by our people. I know that what concerns our people most are issues related to education, employment, income, social security, healthcare, elderly care, housing and the environment, just to name the major ones. We have made a lot of gains, but we also face many pressing and difficult problems. There is still much room for improvement in our work concerning people’s wellbeing. So we should strengthen our sense of mission and responsibility and make every effort to deliver a better life for our people. We, Party committees, governments and officials at all levels, must always keep in mind the wellbeing of the people, make benefiting the people our top priority, promptly address their pressing concerns and ensure they lead a better life.
Thank you all!