President’s thumbs-up for 2014
Xi Jinping stresses rule of law; exchanges greetings with Putin
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.
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.