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President says future starts now

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-01 06:04
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Xi said he was aware of the biggest concerns of the people, such as education, employment, income, social security, medical care, old-age security, housing and the environment.

"Our efforts at improving people's well-being have not always been satisfactory. This requires us to enhance our sense of mission and responsibility to achieve solid and effective results in improving the people's welfare," Xi said.

The president urged that all Party and government officials must place the people's needs as top priority and regard the benefit of the people as their highest career accomplishment.

Xi said that in 2017, he received many letters from the people, including villagers from the Yumai township in Lhunze county in the Tibet autonomous region, members of the Wulanmuqi Art Troupe from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, professors of Xi’an Jiaotong University who had relocated there from eastern China decades ago, and new People's Liberation Army student recruits from Nankai University.

"Their stories touched me deeply. The people have made sacrifices for the good of the nation without regrets or complaints. I feel the millions of ordinary Chinese are the greatest, and I also feel that happiness is achieved through hard work," Xi said.

Noting that China's GDP rose to 80 trillion yuan ($12.3 trillion) in 2017, Xi said that over 13 million urban and rural jobs were created.

The country's old-age insurance system has covered more than 900 million people, and 1.35 billion people are covered by basic medical insurance, Xi said, adding that more than 10 million rural residents were lifted out of poverty in 2017.

"How I wish I could have 10,000 houses, to provide shelter for all who need it!" Xi said, quoting the ancient Chinese poet Du Fu.

Mentioning that China has achieved great progress in areas such as science and technology, manufacturing, aerospace and agriculture, Xi cheered the creative powers of the Chinese people.

In his speech, Xi also mentioned the multilateral international events hosted by China, including the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the BRICS Xiamen Summit and the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting.

China's proposal of building a community of shared future for mankind is supported by the world, he said.

"China will act as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and an upholder of international order," he said.

President Xi Jinping delivers his New Year address on Sunday. It was aired on television, radio and the internet.

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