Global Times (1 February 2022) – Chinese President Xi Jinping, on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, extended Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese on Sunday at a reception in Beijing.
Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered the speech at the gathering at the Great Hall of the People, greeting Chinese people of all ethnic groups, compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and overseas Chinese, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.
Analysts said the speech summarized the achievements China made in the past year and their historic significance, and also sends a clear message of confidence, courage and determination to the future.
This year’s Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on February 1.
Great achievements in a year with tough challenges
Xi said that 2021 witnessed remarkable progress for the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the country, listing major events including the celebration of the CPC’s centennial, the adoption of the third historic resolution in the Party’s 100-year history, the victory in the fight against absolute poverty, the attainment of the first centennial goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and the start of a new journey to fully build a modern socialist China.
Last year, China maintained its leading position in the world in terms of economic development and COVID-19 control, Xi said. He cited China’s progress in its high-quality development, capabilities in strategic science and technology, reform and opening-up, and people’s well-being.
Xi also noted that order in Hong Kong had been restored, and more efforts were made to combat secessionist forces and facilitate the national reunification.
“No matter what twists and turns or challenges we may face, we must carry forward the CPC’s great founding spirit, and keep in mind that one thrives in adversity and perishes in laxity,” Xi said.
Experts said that 2021 was a year of glory but also a year with many challenges, because the strategic pressures from the US had not been eased and under the impact of the raging pandemic, the Chinese economy also faced difficulties. But eventually, with the strong leadership of the CPC, these challenges haven’t affected the development of China, and compared with other countries, especially the US, which failed to effectively control the epidemic, the CPC’s performance brought great confidence to the Chinese people. This is why the leader of the Party and the country can confidently summarize the past year with a long list of achievements.
“We ought to have a long-term perspective, be prepared for potential dangers even in times of calm, and maintain strong unity and work hard, to keep driving forward the great cause of national rejuvenation,” Xi emphasized.
Be prepared for the 20th CPC National Congress
Xi said the CPC will convene its 20th national congress in the second half of 2022 to review the work done in the last five years and draw the development blueprint for the period to come.
Stressing concrete actions for the congress, Xi urged efforts to advance reform and opening-up across the board, promote high-quality development, and ensure and improve the people’s well-being.
The focus should be on maintaining a stable and healthy economy, a safe and peaceful society, and a political ecosystem featuring honesty and integrity, Xi noted.
As the Chinese president stressed the a “stable and healthy economy” and “high-quality development,” China has entered a stage with a more reasonable and comprehensive strategic view of its development and it no longer only seeks fast growth, and the country is now seeking fairer and more balanced development, to make the whole society to better share the benefits of development, experts noted.
The external environment in 2022 will be complicated, as the US will also have its midterm election later this year, and this will increase frictions between China and the US as the current US government needs to show its toughness against “competitors” to serve its election. So apart from forming a healthy internal situation, China also needs to handle the complicated external challenges this year, said Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University.
Noting that the new year is the Year of the Tiger, Xi said traditional Chinese culture sees the tiger as the king of animals and a symbol of strength, bravery and fearlessness, urging people to write a new chapter of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
When facing difficulties and challenges on the way to the national rejuvenation, “strength, bravery and fearlessness” are the most important and needed elements, said analysts. They noted that this is a message of confidence, bravery and determination to encourage all Party members and the people of the country stay unified and confident to gain more significant victories in the coming year.
With the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics just around the corner, the Chinese people are fully prepared to present a streamlined, safe and splendid gathering for the world, Xi said. He offered his best wishes to athletes from home and abroad.