Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a New Year address on Dec 31, 2022 in Beijing to ring in 2023. (XINHUA / JU PENG)
President Xi Jinping's New Year address, in which he conveyed messages of unity, solidarity and hard work, emphasized his optimism about the Chinese economy and reiterated the nation's commitment to peace and development, has boosted the people's confidence to build China into a better place with a bright future.
On Saturday, in his address to ring in 2023, Xi underscored unity as the strength for the nation going forward and urged the entire country to build a consensus through communication and consultation.
"When 1.4 billion Chinese work with one heart and one mind, and stand united with a strong will, no task will be impossible and no difficulty insurmountable," he said.
In the past year, China continued to be the world's second-largest economy with its GDP estimated to exceed 120 trillion yuan ($17.23 trillion), Xi noted, adding that the nation has secured another bumper harvest despite a global food crisis.
President Xi Jinping highlighted the strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality of the Chinese economy, saying that the fundamentals sustaining its long-term growth have remained strong. Xi hailed both officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, for doing their jobs despite difficulties amid the COVID-19 pandemic
He highlighted the strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality of the Chinese economy, saying that the fundamentals sustaining its long-term growth have remained strong. "As long as we stay confident and strive for progress, while maintaining stability, we will realize the goals we have set," he said.
Xi hailed both officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, for doing their jobs despite difficulties amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "With extraordinary efforts, we have prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges, and it has not been an easy journey for anyone," he said.
As China's COVID-19 response enters a new phase, the president said that everyone is holding on with great fortitude and there will be light at the end of the tunnel even though tough challenges remain. "Let's make an extra effort to pull through, as perseverance and solidarity mean victory," he said.
READ MORE: Full Text: 2023 New Year address by President Xi Jinping
Xi said he was delighted to see that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region had restored order and is about to thrive again. He expressed confidence that the Hong Kong and Macao SARs will see long-term prosperity and stability with the unwavering implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle.
The president said that people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are members of one and the same family, and expressed hope that compatriots on both sides of the Straits will work together with a unity of purpose to jointly foster the lasting prosperity of the Chinese nation.
Xi paid rich tribute to the late Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, who passed away on Nov 30 at the age of 96. He praised Jiang's "towering achievements and noble demeanor", and pledged to carry forward Jiang's great legacy. "We will honor his last wishes and advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era," Xi said.
The president reaffirmed China's commitment to peace and development and standing firmly on the right side of history and on the side of human civilization and progress. The nation will work hard to contribute China's wisdom and solutions to the cause of peace and development for all humanity, he said.
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Peng Zhiyong, head of the intensive care unit at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, said Xi's warm remarks have further motivated medical workers as the nation fights a surge in COVID-19 infections. "We must hold the line (against COVID-19) to protect people's health and lives. Perseverance means victory, and solidarity is the way to victory," he said.
Deng Zhuting, president of the London Chinatown Chinese Association in the United Kingdom, said he believes the vitality of China's socioeconomic growth will be further unleashed as the nation optimizes its COVID-19 policies. He expressed his belief that China will continue to put its economy on the track of high-quality development and drive regional and global growth.
Xinhua contributed to this story.