Top leaders extend Spring Festival greetings

By AN BAIJIE ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-01-30 02:38:21

President, premier laud their fellow Chinese and friends worldwide

Chinese leaders extended Spring Festival greetings to the nation in a variety of ways as the festival draws near.

At a greeting party on Jan 29 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, President Xi Jinping offered festive salutations to people across the nation, as well as to all Chinese overseas.

Top leaders extend Spring Festival greetings

Chinese President Xi Jinping  shakes hands with a guest at a Spring Festival gathering in Beijing, capital of China, Jan 29, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

He also expressed gratitude to international friends that supported China's modern development.

Premier Li Keqiang characterized Spring Festival as an event that enhances the unity of all Chinese people.

The country experienced an extraordinary period in 2013 as the Party led it to a deepening of reforms and improvement of people's livelihoods, Li said. He added that the economy grew steadily and commodities remained stable last year, even as a historic number of employment opportunities were created.

In 2014, more reforms and anti-corruption efforts will give China even more momentum, Li said.

More than 2,000 people, including the seven members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, attended the greeting party.

Traditionally, top State leaders convey their sentiments ahead of the festival through various channels, including gatherings and tours.

From Jan 26 to Jan 28, Xi traveled to the Inner Mongolia autonomous region to visit local residents and greet soldiers stationed at border outposts.

Xi visited the Hohhot Children Welfare Center on Jan 28 and met workers who take care of disabled children and infants at the center.

The children performed a song, A Thankful Heart, to welcome the president. After hearing the song, Xi hugged a child and said that people should have thankful hearts.

Xi shook hands with a woman at the welfare center who cares for four children, praising her for treating the children as family members.

The Hohhot center hosts 254 children, 98 percent of whom are disabled, and provides both medical treatment and education.

On the morning of Jan 28, the president visited the milk-production base of Yili Industrial Group, one of China's leading dairy producers. He inspected the production line and urged the company to make a priority of food safety.

During the trip, Xi also attended the traditional Naadam festivities on Jan 27, which includes horse racing and Mongolian wrestling.

And he splashed wine with his fingers — a local tradition that inaugurates a new harvest year and conveys a desire that the people thrive.

Xi also visited a house of an 81-year-old herdswoman, who said that her family now earns 100,000 yuan ($16,500) a year and that her life is quite different from what it was 30 years ago.

In his visit to soldiers stationed along the China-Mongolia border on Jan 26, Xi expressed pride.

"With you guarding the country's border, people feel safe and can concentrate on economic development, reform and opening-up," Xi said.

State leaders also visited or sent greetings to veteran leaders, including former presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Others receiving greetings were veteran Party and military chiefs and retired senior officials of the CPC Central Committee, national legislature, central government, national advisory body and military headquarters.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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