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Global Times

Xi hails 2021 as 'year of exceptional significance' and a 'resilient & dynamic China' on way to great rejuvenation in his new year speech

Global Times

By Wang Qi and Zhang Hui Published: Dec 31, 2021 10:58 PM

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday night delivered his 2022 New Year Address, the ninth straight annual speech since 2014, in which he hailed the 2021 as a year of "exceptional significance." Xi thanked the hard work of countless unsung heroes, stressed China's all-round achievements and the determination of China's complete reunification, and called for global solidarity.

Xi's 2022 New Year Address touched a massive domestic audience, with over 56 million reads and 60,000 discussions only one hour after the speech was broadcast through China Media Group and the internet on the New Year's Eve. Some of Xi's words quickly entered the top 10 trends on Sina Weibo.

"May our country prosper! How lucky I am to be Chinese!" one Weibo user said after hearing Xi's speech online.

On July 1, we solemnly celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Standing on the Tian'anmen Rostrum, one could only marvel at the extraordinary journey of Chinese Communists leading the Chinese people in an unyielding struggle against all obstacles and challenges, and scoring spectacular achievements, Xi said.

He mentioned China's achievements in combating COVID-19, aerospace, military buildup, environmental protection and, in particular, elimination of extreme poverty, at the historical convergence of the Two Centenary Goals.

"The concerns of the people are what I always care about, and the aspirations of the people are what I always strive for," Xi said, "Having worked in the countryside myself, I know precisely what poverty feels like."

To ensure that everyone lives a better life, we must never rest on what we have achieved, and there is still a long way to go, Xi said, stressing the importance of carrying out bold self-revolution.

"We must always keep a long-term perspective, remain mindful of potential risks, and maintain strategic focus and determination," he said.

Xi said the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao is always close to the heart of the motherland, and he highlighted the importance of the sound implementation of the "one country, two systems" model.

"The complete reunification of our motherland is an aspiration shared by people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits," Xi noted.

The president said that 2021 also recorded many memorable Chinese voices, Chinese moments and Chinese stories, including the affectionate expression of "pure, true love saved for the motherland," referring to the declaration written by border hero Chen Xiangrong, who sacrificed his life in the Galwan Valley conflict with Indian military in June last year.

Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times on Friday that over the past two years, while the entire world has been under the shadow of the COVID-19 epidemic, China has made brilliant achievements in all aspects of the society.

Xi's speech has inspired the Chinese people and they believe that 2022 will be a year full of hope and progress for the Chinese nation, Zhu said, noting that the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is entering a period of accelerated progress, and it is unstoppable.

China accomplished many significant tasks in 2021 amid the US strategic pressure... In China, we could see that the direction of a thriving, united nation of confidence is inexorable despite challenges, Shen Yi, a professor from the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Friday.

To Shen, what touched him the most after he had listened to Xi's speech was that he felt a sharp contrast between China and the US and a remarkable change with "the rise of the East and the fall of the West."

On the same day of Xi's speech, Western media reported that Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, was due to be scrapped on Friday. "To some extent, the end of the Libor era implies the decline of global financial activities centered on Western countries," Shen said.

After a "dark" Christmas amid a storm of Omicron, the US is heading into a darker January as Anthony Fauci predicted that the latest wave of the pandemic may hit its peak in the US by the end of the month. President Joe Biden's Omicron plan that only focused on vaccination and introduced more testing did not win any support from the online community in the US, as many said Biden's plan was too little, and has come too late.

Li Haidong,a professor at the Institute of International Relations from the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday that President Xi summarized the achievements in 2021 and the tasks we face in the future, and it must be pointed out that China's domestic and international achievements cannot be made without the firm leadership of the CPC.

We are embracing the global free trade system with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) taking effect from January 1 and we are moving closer to the international community, when the world has increasingly aware of the essence of US' absurd rhetoric which was actually trying to split the world, Li said.

Analysts warned that the West will remain vigilant to any activities that may increase China's influence such as the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and they may also try to distract or even disturb the 20th National Congress of the CPC, an important event to be held in the second half of 2022, and that China should get well prepared to meet these challenges.

"The US and some Western countries are increasingly using ideological tools as they know they cannot afford to challenge China over hard power... But China will keep moving with our own pace," Shen said.

As for these challenges, analysts said the time and strength are at China's side, and China will inject more certainty to the world with its sound economic development and experience in combating pandemic with its dynamic zero COVID-19 policy.

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