Pres­i­dent’s thumbs-up for 2014

Xi Jin­ping stresses rule of law; ex­changes greet­ings with Putin

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHAO LEI in Beijing zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In his New Year ad­dress on Wed­nes­day, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pledged to fur­ther deepen the na­tion’s over­all re­form and to pro­mote the rule of law, com­par­ing them to “a bird’s two wings”.

The pres­i­dent said dur­ing the tele­vi­sion and ra­dio broad­cast that the past year was “un­for­get­table” as the gov­ern­ment had made sub­stan­tial strides in im­prov­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hoods and cracking down on cor­rup­tion, as well as strength­en­ing China’s ties with other na­tions.

To ac­com­plish the gov­ern­ment’s goals, civil ser­vants had been as­sid­u­ous in their du­ties over the past year, Xi said.

He also ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to the pub­lic for their support, say­ing that with­out it, “we could not have achieved any­thing”.

“I must give our great peo­ple a thumbs up,” he said.

In 2015, China will con­tinue to deepen the over­all re­form, from which “there is no turn­ing back”.

The coun­try will also con­tinue to ad­vance the rule of law to safe­guard peo­ple’s rights and in­ter­ests, guar­an­tee so­cial jus­tice and pro­mote na­tional de­vel­op­ment.

“Fur­ther­more, we will per­sist in the fight against cor­rup­tion and pun­ish each and ev­ery cor­rupt of­fi­cial, one by one with no ex­cep­tion,” he vowed.

At a party to cel­e­brate the com­ing New Year with China’s na­tional po­lit­i­cal ad­vis­ers, Xi said chal­lenges are the “voices of the times” and peo­ple’s con­cerns must be the Party’s top pri­or­ity.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment had ful­filled 80 key tasks of over­all re­form and 370 mea­sures were taken to push for­ward re­form, he said, adding some long-stand­ing pub­lic con­cerns were solved last year.

Xi also stated that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment will “unswerv­ingly safe­guard Hong Kong and Ma­cao’s last­ing pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity and deepen ex­changes across the Tai­wan Straits”.

An ex­pert at the Party School of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, who wished to be iden­ti­fied only as Wu, said peo­ple will re­mem­ber 2014 as the year of the anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign, be­cause they had wit­nessed the top lead­er­ship’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and re­solve.

“I think it is fair to say that Xi and his col­leagues have suc­ceeded in pre­vent­ing fur­ther cor­rup­tion, and they have re­stored the pub­lic’s con­fi­dence in clean gov­er­nance,” he said. “A clean Party and gov­ern­ment are the ba­sis for over­all re­form and will pave the way for the next stage of de­vel­op­ment.”

Also on Wed­nes­day, Pres­i­dent Xi and his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Vladimir Putin ex­changed New Year greet­ings and pledged to work to­gether in 2015.

Xi said he was happy to see that the top-level de­sign and strate­gic guid­ance they worked out have led to great re­sults in bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields and to a new chap­ter in China-Rus­sia ties.

Con­stantly strength­en­ing the com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship of co­or­di­na­tion is in line with the two peo­ples’ wishes and the trend of the times, he said. Such a part­ner­ship is a key fac­tor in main­tain­ing in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity, Xi added.

He pledged joint ef­forts with Putin to ex­pand, deepen and speed up co­op­er­a­tion in the new year, par­tic­u­larly in cel­e­bra­tions and com­mem­o­ra­tive ac­tiv­i­ties for the 70th an­niver­sary of the vic­tory in World War II and in youth ex­changes.

Not­ing that 2015 will bring new op­por­tu­ni­ties for win-win co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, Putin pledged to work with Xi on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion projects and on the han­dling of re­gional and global hot spot is­sues.

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Peo­ple in Beijing Olympic Park on New Year’s Eve play at the “Ice and Snow World”, which is pro­mot­ing China’s bid for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics.

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