Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a New Year message via China Media Group and the Internet Sunday evening in Beijing to ring in 2024. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)
BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday urged efforts to steadfastly advance Chinese modernization, deliver a better life for the people, and strive to make the world a better place for all in the upcoming 2024.
Delivering his New Year message in his office in central Beijing, Xi summarized 2023 as a year when the country has marched forward with solid and robust steps, in high spirits and with great confidence.
"In 2023, we have continued to forge ahead with resolve and tenacity. We have gone through the test of winds and rains, have seen beautiful scenes unfolding on the way, and have made plenty real achievements. We will remember this year as one of hard work and perseverance. Going forward, we have full confidence in the future," he said in the nationally televised and livestreamed speech.
Xi said that in the past year, some enterprises had a tough time, some people had difficulty finding jobs and meeting basic needs, and some places were hit by floods, typhoons, earthquakes or other natural disasters.
"When I see people rising to the occasion, reaching out to each other in adversity, meeting challenges head-on and overcoming difficulties, I am deeply moved," he said.
The president lauded extraordinary contribution made by each and every ordinary Chinese and praised the people as the ones the country looks to when it fights to prevail over all difficulties or challenges.
"Our goal is both inspiring and simple. Ultimately, it is about delivering a better life for the people," he said.
CHINA IN 2023
Mentioning a smooth transition in COVID-19 response efforts first, Xi stressed that the Chinese economy has sustained the momentum of recovery.
Steady progress has been made in pursuing high-quality development, with modernized industrial system further upgraded, a number of advanced, smart and green industries rapidly emerging, a bumper harvest secured for the 20th year in a row, waters becoming clearer, mountains greener, and new advances made in pursuing rural revitalization, according to the president.
This aerial photo taken on Oct. 19, 2023 shows a farmer unloading corn to be dried in Dongsheng Village of Zhaodong City, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. (Xinhua/Xie Jianfei)
He also noted that new progress has been made in fully revitalizing northeast China, the Xiong'an New Area is growing fast, the Yangtze River Economic Belt is full of vitality, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is embracing new development opportunities.
"Having weathered the storm, the Chinese economy is more resilient and dynamic than before," he said.
Xi highlighted the country's innovation-driven development, recalling that the C919 large passenger airliner entered commercial service, the Chinese-built large cruise ship completed its trial voyage, the Shenzhou spaceships are continuing their missions in space, and the deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe reached the deepest ocean trench.
People take photos of a C919 large passenger aircraft, China's first self-developed trunk jetliner, before it lands at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, capital of China, May 28, 2023. (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong)
He noted that products designed and made in China, especially trendy brands, are highly popular with consumers and the latest models of Chinese-made mobile phones are an instant market success, while new energy vehicles, lithium batteries, and photovoltaic products are a new testimony to the country's manufacturing prowess.
Xi recalled the spectacular sports scenes and excellence of Chinese athletes at the Chengdu FISU World University Games and the Hangzhou Asian Games, the busy tourist destinations on holidays, the booming film market, and the immensely popular "village super league" football games and "village spring festival gala."
"All these exhilarating activities have made our lives richer and more colorful, and they mark the return of bustling life across the country. They embody people's pursuit of a beautiful life, and present a vibrant and flourishing China to the world," he said.
The president said China is a great country with a great civilization, citing its time-honored history and splendid civilization.
"The mighty Yellow River and Yangtze River never fail to inspire us. Discoveries at the archeological sites of Liangzhu and Erlitou tell us much about the dawn of Chinese civilization. The ancient Chinese characters inscribed on oracle bones of the Yin Ruins, the cultural treasures of the Sanxingdui Site, and the collections of the National Archives of Publications and Culture bear witness to the evolution of Chinese culture," he said.
Noting that China fulfilled its responsibility as a major country in 2023, Xi said that the country held the China-Central Asia Summit and the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and hosted leaders from across the world at many diplomatic events.
"I also paid visits to a number of countries, attended international conferences, and met many friends, both old and new. I shared China's vision and enhanced common understandings with them," he said. "No matter how the global landscape may evolve, peace and development remain the underlying trend, and only cooperation for mutual benefit can deliver."
PROSPECT FOR 2024
Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xi said.
He called for efforts to steadfastly advance Chinese modernization, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, speed up building the new development paradigm, promote high-quality development, and both pursue development and safeguard security.
Acting on the principle of seeking progress while maintaining stability, promoting stability through progress, and establishing the new before abolishing the old, the country will work to consolidate and strengthen the momentum of economic recovery, and achieve steady and long-term economic development, he said.
Xi stressed the needs to deepen reform and opening up across the board, further enhance people's confidence in development, promote vibrant development of the economy, and redouble efforts to boost education, advance science and technology and cultivate talents.
It is imperative to continue to support Hong Kong and Macao in harnessing their distinctive strengths, better integrating themselves into China's overall development, and securing long-term prosperity and stability, he said.
"China will surely be reunified, and all Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose and share in the glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," he said.
Xi stressed that our ultimate goal is to deliver a better life for the people.
Children in China should be well taken care of and receive good education and young people should have the opportunities to pursue their careers and succeed, while elderly people should have adequate access to medical services and elderly care, he said.
"These issues matter to every family, and they are also a top priority of the government. We must work together to deliver on these issues," he said.
He also said that the country should foster a warm and harmonious atmosphere in the society, expand the inclusive and dynamic environment for innovation, and create convenient and good living conditions, so that the people can live happy lives, bring out their best, and realize their dreams.
Drawing attention to the conflicts still raging in some parts of the world, Xi said Chinese are keenly aware of what peace means and will work closely with the international community for the common good of humanity, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make the world a better place for all. ■