Greetings to you all. The year 2023 is approaching. From Beijing, I extend my best New Year wishes to all of you.
In 2022, we successfully convened the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, sounding a clarion call of the times for us forging ahead on a new journey.
The Chinese economy has remained the second largest in the world and enjoyed sound development. GDP for the whole year is expected to exceed 120 trillion yuan. Despite a global food crisis, we have secured a bumper harvest for the 19th year in a row, putting us in a stronger position to ensure the food supply of the Chinese people. We have consolidated our gains in poverty elimination and advanced rural revitalization across the board. We have introduced tax and fee cuts and other measures to ease the burden on businesses, and made active efforts to solve the most pressing difficulties of high concern to the people.
Since COVID-19 struck, we have put the people first and put life first all along. Following a science-based and targeted approach, we have adapted our COVID response in light of the evolving situation to protect the life and health of the people to the greatest extent possible. Officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, have bravely stuck to their posts through it all. With extraordinary efforts, we have prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges, and it has not been an easy journey for anyone. We have now entered a new phase of COVID response where tough challenges remain. Everyone is holding on with great fortitude, and the light of hope is right in front of us. Let's make an extra effort to pull through, as perseverance and solidarity mean victory.
Comrade Jiang Zemin passed away in 2022. We pay high tribute to his towering achievements and noble demeanor, and cherish the great legacy he left behind. We will honor his last wishes and advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
Wave upon wave, the mighty river of history surges forward. With the persistent efforts of one generation after another, we have taken China to where it is today.
Today's China is a country where dreams become reality. The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluded with a resounding success. Chinese winter sports athletes gave their all and achieved extraordinary results. Shenzhou-13, Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 soared into the heavens. China's space station was fully completed and our "home in space" is roving in the deep-blue sky. The people's armed forces marked the 95th birthday and all service members are marching confidently on the great journey of building a strong military. China's third aircraft carrier Fujian was launched. C919, China's first large passenger aircraft, was delivered. And the Baihetan hydropower station went into full operation... None of these achievements would have been possible without the sweat and toil of the numerous Chinese people. Sparks of talent are coming together, and they are the strength of China!
Today's China is a country brimming with vigor and vitality. Various pilot free trade zones and the Hainan Free Trade Port are booming, innovations are gushing out in the coastal areas, development is picking up pace in the central and western regions, the momentum for revitalization is building in the northeast, and there is greater development and affluence in the border regions. The Chinese economy enjoys strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality. 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. On my visit to Hong Kong earlier this year, I was deeply glad to see that Hong Kong has restored order and is set to thrive again. With determined implementation of One Country, Two Systems, Hong Kong and Macao will surely enjoy long-term prosperity and stability.
Today's China is a country that keeps to its national character. In the course of 2022, we encountered various natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, droughts and wildfires, and experienced some workplace accidents. Amid those disconcerting and heartbreaking scenes, there have emerged numerous touching stories of people sticking together in face of adversity or even sacrificing their lives to help others in distress. Those heroic deeds will be forever etched in our memories. At every turn of the year, we always think of the great character of resilience that the Chinese nation has carried forward through millennia. It gives us still greater confidence as we continue our way forward.
Today's China is a country closely linked with the world. Over the past year, I have hosted quite a few friends, both old and new, in Beijing; I have also traveled abroad to communicate China's propositions to the world. Changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace, and the world is not yet a tranquil place. We cherish peace and development and value friends and partners as we have always done. We stand firm on the right side of history and on the side of human civilization and progress. We work hard to contribute China's wisdom and solutions to the cause of peace and development for all humanity.
After the 20th CPC National Congress, my colleagues and I visited Yan'an. We were there to relive the inspiring episode in which the Party's central leadership overcame extraordinary difficulties in the 1930s and 1940s, and to draw on the spiritual strength of the older generation of CPC members. I often say, "Just as polishing makes jade finer, adversity makes one stronger." Over the past 100 years, the CPC has braved wind and rain, and forged ahead against all odds. That is a most difficult yet great journey. Today, we must press on courageously to make tomorrow's China a better place.
Going forward, China will be a country that performs miracles through hard work. Here I want to quote Su Shi, a renowned Chinese poet, "Charge at the toughest and aim at the farthest." It means to take on the biggest challenges and go after the most ambitious goals. Long as the journey is, we will reach our destination if we stay the course; difficult as the task is, we will get the job done if we keep working at it. As long as we have the resolve to move mountains and the perseverance to plod on, as long as we keep our feet on the ground and forge ahead with our journey by making steady progress, we will turn our grand goals into reality.
Going forward, China will be a country that draws its strength from unity. Ours is a big country. It is only natural for different people to have different concerns or hold different views on the same issue. What matters is that we build consensus through communication and consultation. When the 1.4 billion Chinese work with one heart and one mind, and stand in unity with a strong will, no task will be impossible and no difficulty insurmountable. The people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are members of one and the same family. I sincerely hope that our compatriots on both sides of the Strait will work together with a unity of purpose to jointly foster lasting prosperity of the Chinese nation.
Going forward, China will be a country that has great expectations of its younger generation. A nation will prosper only when its young people thrive. For China to develop further, our young people must step forward and take on their responsibilities. Youth is full of vigor and is a source of hope. Youngsters should keep their country in mind, cultivate keen enterprise, and live youth to the fullest with great drive, to prove worthy of the times and the splendor of youth.
To the many people who are still busy working at this very moment, I salute you all! We are about to ring in the New Year. Let us welcome the first ray of sunshine of 2023 with the best wishes for a brighter future.
May our country enjoy prosperity and our people live in harmony. May the world enjoy peace and people of all countries live in happiness. I wish you all a happy New Year and may all your wishes come true.
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