Photo taken on Nov. 9, 2019 shows the National Exhibition and Convention Center in east China's Shanghai, where the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)
"Finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects is our solemn commitment to the people, and it must be realized." -- Xi
BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- As China ushers in 2020, the nation draws closer to its first centenary goal -- building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Over the past year, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core has led China to achieve a series of solid progress.
Under the leadership of President Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, the country stands at a new starting point for modernization.
The G2418 high-speed train runs on the Juyongguan Pass section of the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway line in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 30, 2019. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)
STICKING TO THE PATH OF "RED CHINA"
On Oct. 1, at a grand rally in central Beijing to celebrate the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China, Xi delivered a powerful statement.
"No force can ever undermine our great motherland's status, or stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation from marching forward," he said.
2019 is not just a year of celebration but also a year of significance.
On Oct. 31, at the closing meeting of the fourth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, Xi announced the adoption of a decision of the CPC Central Committee on some major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of China's system and capacity for governance.
This key Party session revealed the "institutional code" behind China's miraculous rise over the past 70 years.
Also in 2019, a campaign themed "staying true to our founding mission" was launched, which, according to Xi, was for further strengthening the ideals and faith of Party members.
"The republic is red, which cannot be faded," Xi said.
Revolutionary bases were often featured on Xi's inspection itineraries.
On May 20, he visited Yudu in east China's Jiangxi Province, where the Red Army set off for the Long March;
On Aug. 20, he paid tribute to the West Route Army of Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army as he visited Zhangye in northwest China's Gansu Province;
On Sept. 12, he reviewed the course of laying the foundation for New China at Fragrant Hills (Xiang Shan) in suburban Beijing;
On Sept. 16, he paid tribute to revolutionary martyrs when he visited Xinxian in central China's Henan Province.
STEERING ECONOMY ON STEADY COURSE
Despite downward pressure and external uncertainties, China's economy has maintained steady growth in 2019, making progress in pursuing high-quality development.
The Chinese economy expanded 6.2 percent in the first three quarters of 2019, the fastest among the world's major economies with a gross domestic product of more than one trillion U.S. dollars.
Employment remained stable, with 12.79 million new urban jobs being created during the January-November period, fulfilling the government's 2019 target ahead of schedule.
Coordinated regional development continued apace. President Xi's domestic footprints signaled governance priorities, of which coordinated regional development has been high on the agenda.
Aerial photo taken on Aug. 29, 2019 shows the Xiongan Station of Beijing-Xiongan intercity high-speed railway under construction in Xiongan New Area, north China's Hebei Province. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)
From the Xiongan New Area in Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing to Chongqing, Jiangxi and Shanghai, Xi's 2019 inspection tours injected impetus to the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, western region, central region and Yangtze River Economic Belt region.
China's new foreign investment law took effect Wednesday, a testament to the country's determination in opening wider to the outside world.
According to the latest World Bank report, China ranked 31st globally for ease of doing business, up from 46th in its previous annual report, and China's strong reform agenda placed the country in the world's top 10 "most improved" list for the second consecutive year.
"I have full confidence in China's prospects of development," Xi said.
Aerial photo taken on Oct. 24, 2019 shows a view of the new Lingang area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Ding Ting)
STRENGTHENING TIES BETWEEN CHINA AND THE WORLD
Xi's overseas footprints over the year demonstrated his efforts to build stronger global partnerships.
In spring, he went to Europe, paying state visits to Italy, Monaco and France.
In summer, he visited Russia, Central Asia, the DPRK and Japan.
In autumn, he visited India and Nepal.
In winter, he went to Greece and Brazil. While in Beijing, Xi met with the Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and held a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump.
A staff member walks past pipelines in a section of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline in Heihe, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Nov. 19, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Jianwei)
On Dec. 2, Xi had a video call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and jointly witnessed the launching ceremony of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline, which is expected to benefit over 400 million people in nine provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
On his visit to Greece, Xi went to the Piraeus Port to inspect this flagship project of China-Greece cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. As of the end of November, China had signed 199 documents on the Belt and Road cooperation with 137 countries across the five continents and 30 international organizations.
"We should promote development through opening-up and deepen exchanges and cooperation among us," Xi said in his speech at the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo. "We need to 'join hands' with each other instead of 'letting go' of each other's hands. We need to 'tear down walls,' not to 'erect walls.' We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism."
MARCHING TOWARDS GREAT GOAL
The work on agriculture, rural areas and rural people in 2020 will largely decide the quality of China's anti-poverty campaign and success of its goal to become a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Xi said at a recent meeting.
The battle against poverty won't stop until victory is secured, he stressed.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi has put himself on the front lines, making visits to the 14 regions in abject poverty.
More than three million officials from government agencies above the county level have been mobilized to villages to assist poverty reduction.
China has set 2020 as the target year to eradicate absolute poverty and the task has become more difficult as the deadline approaches.
Journalists visit Huaxi Village of Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County, southwest China's Chongqing, April 16, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Chan)
In 2019 alone, Xi visited the poverty-stricken areas in provincial-level regions including Hebei, Chongqing, Jiangxi, Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Henan for solutions to the most difficult tasks in poverty alleviation.
More than 10 million people are expected to cast off poverty in the past year, and around 340 counties removed from the poverty list.
"Finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects is our solemn commitment to the people, and it must be realized," Xi stressed. ■