|Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a New Year speech at 7:00 o'clock Beijing time on December 31, 2016.[Photo: Xinhua]|
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday extended New Year greetings to all Chinese compatriots and people around the world, saying hard work and joint efforts in 2017 will make China and the world better.
He said 2016 is an extraordinary year for China as it has achieved progress in many aspects, urging the international community to work together to build a more peaceful and prosperous world.
In the address transmitted by state broadcasters and on the Internet, Xi extended good wishes to Chinese people of all ethnic groups, compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, overseas Chinese, as well as people in other countries and regions.
"To Chinese people 2016 is an extraordinary and unforgettable year, as the country has made a good beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020)," the president said.
China actively promoted economic growth, fully deepened reform, achieved breakthroughs in national defense and military reform, promoted rule of law, advanced strict governance of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and resolutely cracked down on high-ranking and low-level corruption, Xi added.
He said China made great progress in its space program in 2016, and its athletes gained excellent achievements in the Olympics Games. Reforms have facilitated urbanization and the school conditions of children in poverty-stricken areas have improved.
At the G20 Hangzhou Summit, China contributed its wisdom and solutions to addressing global issues. The Belt and Road Initiative is advancing in fast paces, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank went into operation, Xi said.
"We adhere to peaceful development, and resolutely safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests," Xi said. "Chinese people will never allow anyone to get away with making a great fuss about it!"
The president also expressed his condolences to victims of natural disasters and accidents in 2016 as well as Chinese soldiers having sacrificed their lives in UN peacekeeping missions.
He said the 95th anniversary of founding of the CPC and the 80th anniversary of victory of the Long March were commemorated in 2016. "We will always bear in mind our predecessors who made contributions to the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, and stay true to the mission and move onwards."
In 2017 the 19th CPC National Congress will be convened, and the country will make more efforts in building a well-off society in all respects, deepening overall reform, rule of law and strict governance of the Party. "There is no such thing as a free lunch, and only hard work will make dreams come true," Xi said.
Although 10 million more people were lifted out of poverty in 2016, Xi said what he cared most about was impoverished people. It is the Party and the government's duty to address people's difficulties in employment, children's education, health care, and housing, among others.
He urged the whole Party and the whole of society to continue to help people in poverty, so that the outcomes of reform and development will benefit more people.
"As long as our 1.3 billion-plus people are pulled together for a common cause, as long as the Party stands together with the people and we roll up our sleeves to work harder, we will surely succeed in a Long March of our generation," Xi said.
The Chinese people hope for a better life for people in other countries as well as for themselves, Xi said, noting that at the present time people in some countries and regions are still plagued by wars and poverty, and many people have been stricken by diseases and disasters.
"I sincerely hope that the international community can join hands and uphold the concept of a community of shared future for mankind in a bid to make our planet more peaceful and more prosperous," the Chinese president said.