The Chinese character min, meaning "people", was chosen as the nation's most popular buzzword this year, while the hottest phrase related to domestic issues is "poverty alleviation".
They are among a list of popular words and phrases collected during an annual assessment that sifts through characters used by Chinese-language media.
Organizers included the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center and the Commercial Press publishing house. It is the 15th time the lists have been published.
"People" made the list because people's interests have always been the top priority of the Communist Party of China and the government－and this has been brought home since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers said.
The entire country was mobilized to assist Wuhan and Hubei province in the fight against the pandemic to save people's lives.
After the virus was contained, work and production resumed in an orderly way to ensure people's livelihoods, they said.
President Xi Jinping said China has achieved its goal of poverty alleviation as planned and lifted nearly 100 million people in rural areas out of poverty in the past eight years.
When briefed about the assessment of poverty alleviation work this month, Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said all remaining poverty-stricken counties have been removed from the country's poverty list, and absolute and overall regional poverty have been eliminated.
The great victory in poverty alleviation has laid a solid foundation for the fulfillment of the first centenary goal－building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the CPC celebrates its 100th founding anniversary in 2021－and has greatly enhanced the people's sense of improvement, happiness and safety, Xi said.
Meng Man, a professor of history at Minzu University of China in Beijing, said while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is to save people's lives, the fight against poverty is to improve people's living standards, and both fights have won people's approval.
Battles against epidemics and poverty were not successful in the feudal era because the leaders then were not always determined to put people's interests first, while the CPC, with its more than 90 million members, has always been people-oriented, she said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese word yi, meaning "pandemic", was chosen as the hottest word related to international topics in 2020, and the hottest phrase related to international topics in 2020 was "the COVID-19 pandemic".
The word "pandemic" was chosen because it can best summarize what the entire world experienced in 2020, the organizers said.
COVID-19 has become one of the deadliest and most quickly and widely spread pandemics, they said.
The world should strengthen cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, especially in the research and development of vaccines and effective antiviral drugs, the organizers said.
Ensuring global public health security requires effort from all countries and regions, and no country should be left behind. Countries should work together to build a community of common health for mankind, they said.