Highlights from Chinese President Xi Jinping’s New Year speech
In his New Year speech from Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping reviewed the country's achievements in 2018 and extended his New Year wishes for 2019.
The following are some highlights:
President Xi hailed China's achievements in 2018, saying the past year has been a full one, and that the Chinese people approached it with steadfast determination.
In his review of China's economic achievements in 2018, Xi said that, despite all sorts of risks and challenges, the country has pushed its economy towards high-quality development, sped up the replacement of the old drivers of growth, and kept major economic indicators within a reasonable range.
China's continued change, thanks to home-grown manufacturing, innovation, and construction initiatives, was highlighted in Xi's speech during his roundup of the country's achievements in innovation and technology.
In 2018, China successfully launched the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, the country's second aircraft carrier set sail on its maiden voyage and its domestically-made large amphibious aircraft AG600 took to the skies for the first time.
The BeiDou Satellite Navigation System has also gone global.
Poverty alleviation efforts
In 2018, China made great strides in the ongoing poverty alleviation efforts.
A total of 125 counties and 10 million rural residents were lifted out of poverty, Xi said.
President Xi also vowed to continue tackling the financial burden of illnesses during his review of the country's efforts in improving medical insurance services.
In 2018, China reduced the price of 17 anti-cancer drugs, and added them to the medical insurance list.
Reform and opening-up
When talking about China's reform and opening-up, Xi said a comprehensive and systematic overhaul of both Party and state institutions has been unveiled, adding that over 100 major reform measures were launched in the country.
Xi also noted that the first China International Import Expo was held in 2018, and China has begun construction of a pilot free trade zone in the southern province of Hainan.
In his speech, Xi reiterated China's commitment to deepening reform and opening-up, saying China's door will only open wider to the world.
China hosted a series of international diplomatic events in 2018, including the annual Boao Forum for Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao, as well as the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
“We put China's proposals on the table and made our voice heard at these and other diplomatic events,” Xi said.
'Rely on the people'
The year of 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In his speech, Xi paid tribute to the Chinese people, saying "our people are the country's solid foundation and our main source of confidence to govern."
Through the years, the Chinese people have been self-reliant and worked diligently to create miracles that the world has marveled at, Xi said.
Speaking of the future, Xi said that despite the complexities and difficulties on the road ahead, “we shall always closely rely on the people.”
Ending his speech, Xi reaffirmed that China's sincere commitment to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development will remain unchanged.