Spotlight: Xi’s New Year speech “inspiring, practical” — experts, analysts
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s New Year speech has conveyed a “inspiring and practical” message that combines “broad strategic vision with meticulous attention to detail” for a more prosperous and peaceful future, said international experts and analysts.
FURTHER REFORM AND OPENING-UP
The year 2018 marks the first year for implementing the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October 2017. Reform must be further carried out in the new year as reform and opening-up is the path China must take to make progress in national socioeconomic development and to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.
“While promoting the policy of reform in China in 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping is reinforcing the international concept of progress and peace for peoples and nations,” said Pierre Picquart, an expert on geopolitics at the University of Paris-VIII.
Describing the 19th CPC Party Congress as a milestone for China’s “new journey,” William Jones, Washington Bureau chief for Executive Intelligence Review news magazine, said that it was with a great sense of confidence and optimism that President Xi delivered his New Year’s message to the Chinese people and to the world.
The expert said China is well aware of its international responsibilities and has been contributing to world peace and prosperity in the several decades. Together with other countries, China would build a “beautiful future,” he added.
Jones also mentioned U.S.-China relations, which has been considered the world most important bilateral ties, noting that “only in cooperation with China and with the other nations of the world can the United States hope to rebuild itself and rebuild the world.”
SOLEMN PROMISE ON POVERTY ALLEVIATION
By 2020 all Chinese rural residents living below the poverty line should have been lifted out of poverty, which will be the first time in China’s history that extreme poverty is eliminated.
“It is our solemn promise,” Xi said in his speech, “Only three years are left to 2020. Every one of us must be called to action, do our best, take targeted measures to secure victories one after another.”
Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in Xi’s reiteration of his determination to finally eliminate extreme poverty, said Keith Bennett, vice chair of the 48 Group Club, a London-based organization of business leaders that aims to promote Britain-China trade ties.
“Socialism with Chinese characteristics offers a new path to developing countries who wish to expedite their development whilst maintaining their independence,” Bennett added.
Samy Kamhawy, an expert on Chinese affairs from Egypt’s largest daily newspaper Al-Ahram, said China has made concrete and comprehensive achievements on the ground and is able to eradicate poverty by 2020 based on previous rates. “China does not announce a certain goal without prior planning,” he emphasized.
While the elimination of poverty has long been regarded a major task for humanity, until now it has been deemed a utopian dream, said Jones. “With China that dream is now becoming a reality, and has created a tremendous amount of optimism that it can also be eliminated globally.”
CHARTING OUT A MORE PROSPEROUS FUTURE FOR HUMANITY
“President Xi’s new year message is both inspiring and practical,” said Bennett, “It embodies the President’s work style, which combines broad strategic vision with meticulous attention to detail. This reflects the fact that meeting the people’s needs and expectations needs more than empty slogans.”
China’s great achievement of development was made by the people and for the people, and among the people’s most pressing concerns were education, employment, income, social security, health care, elderly care, housing and environmental protection, according to Xi.
The president also admitted that there were areas where the government’s work fell short of expectations. Though progress has been made, he said, issues of public concern remain.
President Xi’s meaningful speech demonstrated the “strong and unremitting” ambition of the Chinese government to work for the Chinese people’s well-being, said Indrananda Abeysekera, president of Sri Lanka-China Social and Cultural Cooperation Association.
Xi said in the speech that apart from domestic commitments, China is ready to contribute to a more prosperous, peaceful future for humanity, in joint efforts with other countries.
“A community with a shared future for humanity is a very appealing concept. Such a community transcends differences in political values, level of economic development and cultural traditions,” said Lucio Blanco Pitlo, a lecturer at the Chinese Studies Program of Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.
China, the world’s second largest economy, has been an important global player in providing public goods, and a facilitator of capacity builder around the world, said B. R. Deepak, a professor at the Center for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in India.
The expert said Xi’s remarks about upholding the sanctity of the United Nations, his commitment to multipolar world and his vision of building a community with a shared future indicates China’s resolve to shoulder greater responsibilities in the global economic and political system.
“As China sums up its development experience of the last four decades, the people of the world would certainly look towards China to learn from its experiences. I believe China is more than willing to share it,” said Deepak.