Xi's New Year address boosts morale

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/1 21:33:39

Chinese public welcomes optimistic message for 2018

The Chinese public welcomed the optimism delivered in President Xi Jinping's New Year speech on Sunday, and are inspired by the development goals of the nation.

President Xi on Sunday delivered a speech vowing that China would resolutely carry out reform in 2018.

Xi's speech was broadcast live on China Central Television and since being posted on the People's Daily's Weibo account, it had received 254,499 likes and 14,638 shares by Monday afternoon.

Improving people's livelihoods formed the main theme of the speech and was discussed intensively by the public.

Stating China's achievements in 2017, Xi said more than 13 million new jobs were created and 1.35 billion people have been covered by basic medical insurance. More than 10 million rural people were lifted out of poverty in the year.

Xi said that Chinese people have a greater sense of fulfillment, happiness and security, citing an improvement in livelihoods and the environment in 2017.

Many ordinary Chinese share the feeling. A Beijing resident surnamed Wu said that, "In 2016, air pollution in Beijing was really serious, but in the winter of 2017 we hardly saw haze and Beijing is having more blue sky days. This proves that policymakers of the country can hear the voice from the people clearly and they will make efforts to fix problems quickly."

Around the globe, national leaders also made their New Year speeches. After watching New Year speeches from around the world, people found China's version was more optimistic.

Many internet users said on news portal guancha.cn that a lot of foreign countries are struggling with problems like separatism, populism, the refugee crisis and terrorist threats, but China showed strong ambition and determination and focused on its domestic issues without blaming others for any problem.

"Other major powers are mostly confused, trapped, diffident, worried or have stepped on the wrong track to ruin other countries, but Chinese people are fighting for their own future," a user named "iGGLL" posted on website guancha.cn.

In the speech, Xi stressed poverty alleviation. He said that by 2020 all rural residents living below the current poverty line should have been lifted out of poverty. It will be the first time in China's history that extreme poverty is eliminated.

New promise

"This is a great cause, important to both the Chinese nation and humanity. Let's do it together and make it happen," he said.

"We will take the opportunity of celebrating the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up in 2018 to further carry out reform, as reform and opening-up is the path we must take to make progress in contemporary China and to realize the Chinese Dream," Xi said.

Song Luzheng, a research fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University, said that in the past 40 years, China has achieved several miracles in the history of human beings including "the largest transition of economic and social system, the largest and fastest industrialization, the longest period of high economic growth and a totally peaceful rise without overseas invasion and colonialism."

Xi said China's achievement of development was made by the people and for the people, and that among the people's most pressing concerns were education, employment, income, social security, healthcare, elderly care, housing and environmental protection.

In his speech, Xi said he had received letters from people of ethnic minority regions, professors and university students. "Their patriotism made me feel that ordinary people are the greatest, while happiness comes out of diligence," Xi said.

The president admitted that there were areas where the government's work fell short of expectations. Though progress has been made, he said, issues of public concern remain.

"That is why we should strengthen our sense of responsibility and do a good job of ensuring the people's well-being," Xi said. "The well-being of our people is the Party and the government's greatest political achievement. Our officials should put the people's state of living at heart and help them live a better life."

Newspaper headline: Xi’s speech boosts morale

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