| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Look to the future and stay focused, President Xi tells China in New Year’s address

In his 2022 New Year address, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the necessity of keeping a “strategic focus” and being aware of “possible threats” in the Communist Party’s long-term aim to transform China into a worldwide power.

In 2021, Xi claimed that China had fulfilled its goal of creating a “moderately wealthy” society, a significant step on the path to becoming a worldwide leader in 2049, the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China’s foundation.

In a broadcast speech, Xi added, “We must constantly have a long-term perspective, be aware of possible hazards, maintain strategic concentration and resolve, and ‘attain the broad and vast while handling the delicate and minute.”

China, where the coronavirus was initially discovered in late 2019, has emphasized its past and present accomplishments, such as promptly bringing COVID-19 under control while its economy slowed after recovering from a pandemic recession and ties with the United States reached new lows.

Xi stated that total unification of “the motherland

” is a goal shared by people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, alluding to Taiwan’s self-ruled island, which it regards as “sacred” territory.

“I truly hope that all of the Chinese nation’s sons and daughters would band together to build a brighter future for our country,” he added.

A Chinese official warned earlier this week that if Taiwan, which is fiercely democratic, made movements, China will take “dramatic measures.”

Xi also emphasized the need of stability in Hong Kong, a former British colony, and Macau, a former Portuguese-run enclave that returned to China in 1997 and 1999, respectively.

Hong Kong was assured that its broad range of individual liberties, including freedom of expression, would be safeguarded under the handover agreement.

However, campaigners claim that those liberties have been weakened since China implemented a new national security legislation in 2020, which stifled dissent in the aftermath of at times violent pro-democracy, anti-China street demonstrations a year before.

Officials in China and Hong Kong have supported the rule, claiming that it is important to restore order.

In contrast to prior years, Xi did not mention China’s gross domestic product in his speech.

  • Reuters