Addressing the nation on important occasions is a tradition of the Chinese leadership and President Xi has maintained it regularly. He addressed the nation on New Year’s Eve. – 31 December 2022. It was his 10th such speech since 2014. China will be a country that performs miracles through hard work as it goes forward, Chinese President Xi Jinping said while delivering his 2023 New Year address on Saturday night. He also hailed the determined effort every Chinese has made in overcoming unprecedented difficulties and challenges and called for more unity as the light of hope is right ahead.
His New Year address quickly became the top trending topic on China’s social media Sina, Weibo, WeChat, etc., on Saturday night with more than 250 million citizens viewing related posts and joining in discussions. Many citizens reposted highlights from Xi’s address to commemorate the year 2022, with even more leaving their best wishes for the country and calling for people to embrace a brighter 2023.
His speech gained global attention and many leaders, scholars, and intellectuals were watching it in almost all corners of the world. Some of them have already commented on his speech and appreciated it highly.
Below are the notable highlights of his speech:
• Xi said the convening of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has sounded a clarion call of the times for the Chinese people forging ahead on a new journey. An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, he said.
• The Chinese economy has remained the second largest in the world and enjoyed sound development over the year, Xi said, adding that the country’s GDP for the whole year is expected to exceed 120 trillion yuan (about $17.23 trillion). Despite a global food and fuel crisis, China has secured a bumper harvest for the 19th year in a row, putting it in a stronger position to ensure the food supply of the Chinese people, Xi said. China has consolidated its gains in poverty elimination and advanced rural revitalization across the board, he said. The country has introduced tax and fee cuts and other measures to ease the burden on businesses and made active efforts to solve the most pressing difficulties of high concern to the people, Xi added.
• Xi paid high tribute to the late Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, praising his “towering achievements and noble demeanor.” The great legacy Jiang left behind will be cherished, Xi said. “We will honor his last wishes and advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era,” he said. Jiang passed away on Nov. 30 at the age of 96.
• Noting that China has entered a new phase of COVID response, Xi called for an extra effort from the people to pull through as perseverance and solidarity mean victory. “Since COVID-19 struck, we have put the people first and put life first all along,” Xi said. “Following a science-based and targeted approach, we have adapted our COVID response in light of the evolving situation to protect the life and health of the people to the greatest extent possible,” he added. Officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, have bravely stuck to their posts through it all, Xi said. With extraordinary efforts, China has prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges, and it has not been an easy journey for anyone, he noted. “Everyone is holding on with great fortitude, and the light of hope is right in front of us,” Xi said.
• Today’s China is a country where dreams become reality, said Xi, citing the achievements made by the country in 2022. The achievements he noted included the success of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the launch of Shenzhou-13, Shenzhou-14, and Shenzhou-15 spacecraft, the launch of China’s third aircraft carrier Fujian, and the delivery of C919, China’s first large passenger aircraft. “None of these achievements would have been possible without the sweat and toil of the numerous Chinese people,” Xi said. “Sparks of talent are coming together, and they are the strength of China!”
• Various pilot free trade zones and the Hainan Free Trade Port are booming, innovations are gushing out in the coastal areas, development is picking up pace in the central and western regions, the momentum for revitalization is building in the northeast, and there is greater development and affluence in the border regions, Xi said. The Chinese economy enjoys strong resilience, tremendous potential, and great vitality, Xi said, adding that the fundamentals sustaining the country’s long-term growth have remained strong. “As long as we stay confident and strive for progress while maintaining stability, we will realize the goals we have set,” he said.
• Recalling his visit to Hong Kong this year, Xi said he was deeply glad to see that Hong Kong has restored order and is set to thrive again. With the determined implementation of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong and Macao will surely enjoy long-term prosperity and stability, Xi said.
• At every turn of the year, we always think of the great character of resilience that the Chinese nation has carried forward through millennia, Xi said. “It gives us still greater confidence as we continue our way forward,” Xi said.
• China encountered various natural disasters and some workplace accidents in 2022. Amid those heartbreaking scenes, there emerged numerous touching stories of people sticking together in face of adversity or even sacrificing their lives to help others in distress, Xi said. “Those heroic deeds will be forever etched in our memories,” he said. “Over the past year, I have hosted quite a few friends, both old and new, in Beijing; I have also traveled abroad to communicate China’s propositions to the world,” Xi said.
• Noting that changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace and the world is not yet a tranquil place, Xi said China cherishes peace and development and values friends and partners as always. “We stand firm on the right side of history and on the side of human civilization and progress. We work hard to contribute China’s wisdom and solutions to the cause of peace and development for all humanity,” he said. Quoting renowned Chinese poet Su Shi, Xi said China will “charge at the toughest and aim at the farthest,” which means to take on the biggest challenges and go after the most ambitious goals. “As long as we have the resolve to move mountains and the perseverance to plod on, as long as we keep our feet on the ground and forge ahead with our journey by making steady progress, we will turn our grand goals into reality,” he said.
• As China is a big country, Xi said it is only natural for different people to have different concerns or hold different views on the same issue. “What matters is that we build consensus through communication and consultation,” he said. “When the 1.4 billion Chinese work with one heart and one mind, and stand in unity with a strong will, no task will be impossible and no difficulty insurmountable,” Xi said. The people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are members of one and the same family, he noted, expressing his hope that the compatriots on both sides of the Strait will work together with a unity of purpose to jointly foster lasting prosperity of the Chinese nation.
• China has great expectations of its younger generation as a nation will prosper only when it’s young people thrive, said Xi. Xi said for China to develop further, the country’s young people must step forward and take on their responsibilities. “Youngsters should keep their country in mind, cultivate keen enterprise, and live youth to the fullest with great drive, to prove worthy of the times and the splendor of youth,” he said.
•“The year 2023 is approaching. From Beijing, I extend my best New Year wishes to all of you,” President Xi said at the beginning of his address. Then he noted that the convening of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has sounded a clarion call of the times for the Chinese people forging ahead on a new journey. An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, he said.
The expert noted that Xi’s address also sent a message to the outside world that China is a country brimming with vigor and vitality and China’s development will inject more stability and certainty into the world as China closely links with those beyond its borders.
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