CHINA Chinese President Xi reflects on 2020, upbeat about 2021


Chinese President Xi reflects on 2020, upbeat about 2021


23:27, December 31, 2020

Containers at Lianyungang City, east China's Jiangsu Province, April 14, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping gave his annual New Year's address on Thursday, during which time he reflected on the challenges and accomplishments of the past year and ended on an upbeat note about the coming one. He began by commemorating everyone in the world for fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the victims and those who've volunteered to serve their communities.

The Chinese leader emphasized how this has been an all-of-nation effort for his country and expressed pride in his motherland and his people for their unyielding national spirit. As President Xi quipped, "Only after polishing can a piece of jade be finer".

Although 2020 was understandably dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn't all doom and gloom for China. In fact, China had quite a few accomplishments. It completed its 13th Five-Year Plan and will begin the 14th one in earnest right in time for the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2021.

The country's economy was also the first one in the world to recover from the economic crisis catalyzed by the international community's uncoordinated efforts to contain the virus. So strong has its recovery been that President Xi predicted that China's GDP for 2020 will amount to around 100 trillion yuan.

China made the historic achievement of establishing a moderately prosperous society in all respects as it planned and is now actively moving forward with its mission of building a socialist one by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 2049.

Its new development paradigm of dual circulation will help it reach this goal, as will its victory this year over extreme poverty. While millions across the world became poorer due to the global economic crisis, China has eradicated extreme poverty for the nearly 100 million rural people affected and "cracked the hardest nut" of rural poverty.

A view of Lujiazui area in Pudong in Shanghai, E China, July 23, 2019. (Photo: CFP)

Looking forward, the Chinese leader promised that his country will deepen reform and expand opening-up, pointing to the success of these policies over the past four decades. This past year also symbolically marked the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the 30th anniversary of Shanghai's Pudong New Area.

The whole world is one family, President Xi said, and that's why he concluded by wishing everyone a prosperous, peaceful, and happy New Year.

Thinking deeply about the Chinese leader's message, it's clear to see that while there's still a long road ahead, the light is finally showing through at the end of this dark tunnel. With China leading the world's global economic recovery, successfully eliminating extreme poverty, and unveiling its new development paradigm of dual circulation, the international community is filled with hope that a rising tide will lift all boats, as the popular saying goes. China's successes are the world's successes, and vice versa, and with everyone coming together over this past year, a community of common destiny is forming.

The widespread fears that the era of globalization had suddenly ended with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic were unfounded in hindsight. To the contrary, the world is closer than ever before after everyone suffered in their own way as a result of the coronavirus.

Despite some countries attempting to politically exploit these developments to advance their own selfish interests, the world as a whole moved forward in solidarity. Everyone is now keenly aware that united we stand, divided we fall. With this in mind, the world should celebrate China's achievements in this past year since they'll soon lead to successes for everyone else too.

The most important part of President Xi's New Year address was just how reassuring it was. Listening to the Chinese leader speak, first with sympathy in his voice while remembering the world's COVID-19 victims and heroes and then with confidence while listing off all of his country's accomplishments this year, one can't help but be filled with optimism for the future.

This year was difficult, but it could have been much worse. Thankfully, mankind is moving forward as a result of historical momentum since progress is an irreversible process. With China leading the way, 2021 will be much better than 2020 in all respects.

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