BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council held a Spring Festival gathering at the Great Hall of the People on the morning of Jan. 20. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered a speech and extended Spring Festival greetings to the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and overseas Chinese on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.
Xi stressed that the Year of the Tiger, which is about to pass, is a very important year in the development history of the Party and the country. Confronted with the complex and unpredictable international situation and arduous domestic tasks of continuing reform and development and maintaining stability, the entire Party, the military, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups rose to the challenge and worked together. With their energy, courage and perseverance, they wrote a new chapter in the development of socialist modernization.
Li Keqiang presided over the gathering. Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Han Zheng, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi and Wang Qishan attended the gathering.
In the banquet hall of the Great Hall of the People, the lights were bright and the atmosphere was warm. People from all walks of life gathered together to welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year.
At about 10 a.m., amid the cheerful music, Xi and other Party and state leaders entered the hall and waved hands and exchanged greetings with all present, prompting warm applause from the whole gathering.
In his speech, Xi noted that during the past year, we held the 20th CPC National Congress successfully and drew up a grand blueprint for comprehensively building a modern socialist country. We have fully implemented the new development philosophy, adhered to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, fully implemented the requirements for keeping the epidemic at bay, stabilizing the economy and ensuring safe development, and accelerated the efforts to foster a new development pattern and pursue high-quality development. We have maintained economic growth, achieved a bumper harvest of grain, kept employment and prices stable, and firmly ensured people's well-being. We have also consolidated our gains in poverty elimination, made one achievement after another in the fields of sci-tech innovation, kept improving the ecological environment, taken solid steps to modernize the national defense and the armed forces, made further efforts to exercise full and rigorous governance over the Party, and maintained overall social stability. We have put people and their lives first and kept optimizing the epidemic prevention and control measures according to the mutation of the virus and the anti-epidemic situation, so as to protect people's lives and health to the greatest extent and minimize the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development. We successfully hosted the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, respectively, and presented a streamlined, safe and splendid Games to the world. We held a grand celebration marking the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. Hong Kong and Macao have remained prosperous and stable. We have been fighting resolutely in major struggles against separatism and foreign interference, maintaining the initiative to steer cross-Strait relations. We have vigorously advanced major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and made many friends, providing the volatile global environment with stability.
Xi stressed that the achievements of this year did not come easily, and were made by the Party and the people together. What has been achieved has shown that as long as the Party and the people stand together, think together and work together, no storm can shake our iron will, and no difficulty can stop our sonorous steps.
Xi pointed out that 2023 is the first year to fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, with both hopes and challenges. We will take keeping stability the top priority, seek progress while maintaining stability. We will better balance both domestic and international situations, coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, and development with security. We will comprehensively deepen reform and opening up, strive to achieve an overall upturn in economic performance, and continue to improve people's lives. As long as we work hard with firm confidence, we will get off to a good start on our new journey.
Xi stressed that the greatest truths are the simplest, and hard work is the key. The new journey is a long one full of glories and dreams where there is no shortcut, but hard work. We should come down to earth, work hard, and do not fall into fantasies or distractions. We should be honest and studious, respect the reality, do not act against rules or work recklessly. We should seek truth and be pragmatic, focus on actual effect, and do not make superficial work or show. Those who work will succeed, and those who walk will arrive at destination. A person of action will leave a good name in history. We created a glorious past with hard work, and we will create a better future in the same way.
Xi pointed out that, in traditional Chinese culture, rabbit (tu) is called Ruitu (auspicious rabbit) or Yutu (jade rabbit), representing quickness and wit, purity and kindness, peace and beauty. The auspicious rabbit bodes well for China, which is increasingly peaceful, full of vigor and vitality. In the lunar year of the Rabbit, Xi expressed the hope that the people of the whole country, especially the young people, will strive hard and run at full speed like a moving rabbit to exhibit their ability and elegance in whatever work they do.
Leading members and veteran comrades of the CPC Central Committee, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the State Council, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Central Military Commission attended the gathering.
Also present at the gathering are leaders of departments of the CPC Central Committee, central government, the military, people's organizations and leaders of Beijing Municipality, heads of the central committees of the non-CPC parties, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, representatives of public figures without party affiliation, retired veterans, famous experts and scholars, and people from all walks of life in the capital. Literary and art workers gave a wonderful performance at the gathering.