Chinese President Xi touts 2018 accomplishments in 2019 New Year speech

In his New Year speech from Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping reviewed the country’s achievements in 2018 and extended New Year wishes for 2019 to everyone in the world.

During his speech, 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.  The president also remarked on China’s continuing efforts to reduce poverty.

“Another 125 poor counties and 10 million poverty-stricken rural residents were lifted out of poverty,” Xi said.

“And we are continuing to tackle the financial strain that can accompany a family member falling ill. Our comrades on the front lines of the fight against poverty are often in my thoughts, including over 2.8 million officials living and working in villages, and the local village leaders. They are devoted to their work and do an awesome job, and I wish them good health.”

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 president then went on to talk about China’s reforms and opening up.

President 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.

A man walks past the booth of International Trade Center at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 5 (Xinhua)

He 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.  He vows that China’s reforms will never stop and its doors will only open wider.

He also urged the Chinese people to remember “several leading lights”, as he described them; scientists, soldiers and other heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  Individuals like Nan Rendong, a Chinese scientist after whom an asteroid was named a few months ago; Lin Junde and Zhang Chao, who joined the long list of exemplary soldiers in the People’s Liberation Army; Wang Jicai, who for thirty-two years served on a border island; and Huang Qun, Song Yuecai, and Jiang Kaibin all who died protecting an experimental offshore platform.  President Xi says they are the most admirable people in China’s new era, and that we should learn from their deeds.

The president wrapped up his address with a look toward 2019 and the upcoming celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He 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 Chinese miracles that the world has marveled at,” Xi said. “And now, looking forward, despite the complexities and difficulties we may face on the road ahead, we shall always closely rely on the people and stick to self-reliance and hard work. With rock-solid confidence, and racing against time with unwavering determination, we will carry forward our unprecedented great cause one resolute step after another, and leave enduring footprints behind us.”

In conclusion, President Xi said the world at large is facing a period of major change never seen in a century. But no matter what these changes bring, China will remain resolute and confident in the defense of its national sovereignty and security. And China’s sincerity and goodwill to safeguard world peace and promote common development will remain unchanged. China will continue to push ahead with the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and continue to advocate for the development of a community of shared future for mankind, and work tirelessly for a more prosperous and beautiful world.

You can click here for the full version of President Xi’s New Year speech.