Let’s grow our ‘circle of friends’ .
BEIJING – President Xi Jinping highlighted poverty reduction and China’s international role in his New Year speech Thursday.
In an address transmitted live by state broadcasters, Xi called for confidence and hard work for a good beginning in the home stretch of building a “moderately prosperous society in all respects.”
Xi said that a meeting of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in late October set out a promising and encouraging blueprint for development over the next five years.
Xi noted that lifting tens of millions of rural people out of poverty was his top concern, and called for joint efforts to achieve this goal.
“We should care for all people facing difficulties, making them feel warm from the bottom of their hearts,” Xi said.
It is the third New Year speech Xi has given since 2013.
PAINS AND GAINS
Xi extended his New Year wishes to Chinese people of all ethnic groups, compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao, compatriots in Taiwan and overseas Chinese, as well as friends from other countries and regions.
“In 2015, Chinese people gave a lot, and we received a lot too,” Xi said, citing the fact that the country’s economic growth continues to be among the fastest in the world, reforms are in full swing and there has been deepened judicial reform.
The “three stricts and three earnests” campaign and anti-corruption fight have also been improving the country’s political environment.
Xi recalled the large-scale commemoration for the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and in the World Anti-Fascist War. During the event, Xi announced China will cut troops by 300,000.
“Our commemorative activities and the grand military parade showcased the truth that justice will prevail, peace will prevail and the people will prevail,” Xi said.
Xi noted that his meeting with Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore in November and their handshake, the first between leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in 66 years, reflected the common wish of compatriots from both sides for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.
The president cited more milestone moments, including Beijing winning the bid to host the 24th Winter Olympics, the RMB’s inclusion into the currency basket of the Special Drawing Rights of the International Monetary Fund, China’s first homemade large passenger aircraft C919 rolling off the assembly line, Tianhe-2 supercomputer remaining the world’s most powerful system for the sixth consecutive time, the country’s first space telescope to search for signals of dark matter sent into space and Tu Youyou winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
“All these show us that, as long as we persevere, dreams will come true,” Xi said.
“This year, we had joys, but we also had sorrows,” Xi said, recalling cruise ship Eastern Star capsizing, catastrophic fires and explosions at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin and the Shenzhen landslide.
“These accidents led to many lives lost, and it’s also deeply harrowing that our compatriots were cruelly killed by terrorists,” Xi said. “We mourn them, and hope that the deceased rest in peace and the living are safe and healthy.”
Recognizing that people still have difficulties and troubles, Xi vowed that the Party and the government will continue to make concrete efforts to protect people’s lives and property, improve their livelihoods and ensure their health.
China must not be absent from international affairs, as the world is looking forward to voices and answers from China, Xi said.
“The world is so big, the challenges so complicated, ” he said.
“For those people torn by hardship and war, we need to offer not only sympathy and compassion, but also responsibility and action,” Xi said.
“China will always welcome the world with an open embrace, and we will also extend our hand to those in difficulty as best as we can, and our ‘circle of friends’ will grow,” Xi said, borrowing a term from the popular messaging app WeChat.
Throughout 2015, Xi said, China’s leaders have taken active part in international conferences and diplomatic activity, bringing substantial progresses in the “Belt and Road Initiative,” while contributing to the United Nations 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the global fight against climate change.
He said, “We have only one earth, one home for the peoples of all nations.”
Xi expressed his earnest hope that the international community could work together for peace, in a spirit of cooperation. “By turning antagonism to synergy, hostility to friendship, together we will forge a community of shared destiny for all humankind,” said the president.