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Xi spreads love in New Year speech

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-27 07:20

President calls for nation to 'roll sleeves up'

Xi spreads love in New Year speech

Children in rooster costumes carry traditional Chinese knots and lanterns as they head to visit lonely elderly residents in Hefei, Anhui province, on Tuesday as part of celebrations for the Spring Festival holiday. XIE CHEN/FOR CHINA DAILY

President Xi Jinping struck a warm tone with his annual Spring Festival greeting on Thursday, calling on the whole nation to love their family and friends.

Love should reach to every family and bring warmth to all Chinese like a spring breeze blowing across the nation, he said in his speech ahead of the Lunar New Year, which starts on Saturday.

"The Chinese people have always valued love and high morality," Xi told his audience at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, which included senior government officials, military officers, renowned artists and ethnic community leaders.

He urged people not to neglect their family, comrades and loved ones, no matter how busy they are in their work. Love means being not hypocritical, not selfish and not outrageous, he said.

"A short greeting of 'welcome home for Spring Festival' would warm the hearts of millions of Chinese people," he said.

The seven members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, headed by Xi, also attended the celebrations. It is traditional for top leaders to extend Spring Festival wishes at such an annual ceremony, which this year also featured performances by an orchestra, ballet dancers and acrobats.

Xi went on to wish all Chinese, including ethnic groups, those in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and those living abroad, an auspicious Year of the Rooster, an animal that symbolizes good fortune.

China's economic growth has remained one of the strongest in the world, and people's livelihoods have continuously been improved, the president said, before calling on the nation to "roll up our sleeves to work harder".

Xi said he hopes the people "not only have great dreams, but also show a hardworking spirit to fulfill those dreams". He added, "The progresses in China's development are achieved thanks to Chinese people's diligent work."

Ma Qinghui, an express delivery worker who came to Beijing nearly 10 years ago from his hometown in Jilin province, said he was moved by Xi's speech.

"Just as the president said, we should not forget our family, no matter how busy we are," said Ma, who has not seen his wife and daughter for nearly a year as they live in his hometown.

His love for his family is his motivation for working hard, he said, adding that he usually works more than 10 hours a day.

Jin Yanlei, a geography teacher in Dongying, Shandong province, said, "President Xi has told us to roll up our sleeves to work harder, which I think is important not only for ourselves, but also for the nation, especially at a time when the global economy is sluggish."

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