'No difficulty can stand in way ... as long as the Party, the people always stand together'
President Xi Jinping called on the whole nation to work hard for an even brighter future on Friday, saying that China will deepen reform and opening up across the board, strive to attain better performance of the economy and keep improving the living standards of the people in 2023.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, greeted people of all ethnic groups, compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and overseas Chinese while addressing a reception in Beijing ahead of the Lunar New Year, which falls on Sunday.
He reviewed the country's achievements over the past year, including the successful hosting of the 20th CPC National Congress, the growth of China's economy, a bumper grain harvest and the stability in the job market and commodity prices.
China has kept optimizing its COVID-19 response measures, making the utmost efforts in protecting the safety and health of the people and minimizing the impacts from the pandemic on the economy and society, he said.
He also mentioned the success of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the prosperity and stability in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the progress in major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, which injected stability into a turbulent global landscape.
China's GDP expanded 3 percent year-on-year in 2022 to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.94 trillion) despite challenges from geopolitical tensions, rising global downside risks and COVID-19 outbreaks. The nation also created 12.06 million new urban jobs, surpassing the preset task of 11 million, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Xi attributed the nation's hard-won achievements over the past year to the hard work by the Party and the people.
"It has been proved that no challenge can sway our ironclad will and no difficulty can stand in the way of our forceful steps forward, as long as the Party and the people always stand together, put their minds together and work together," he said.
He noted that the year 2023 will bring both hopes and challenges, and the nation must make stability its top priority and pursue progress while ensuring stability.
"With a firm confidence and commitment to hard work, we will surely attain a sound beginning for our new journey," he said.
He said China's new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects is an expedition full of glory and dreams, and there are no shortcuts, but only hard work.
The president called for hard work in a down-to-earth manner, saying that no time nor effort should be wasted on fantasy and empty talk.
He also stressed the need to respect reality and rules and refrain from acting in a rash manner. It is important to adopt a realistic and pragmatic approach, emphasize real outcomes and stay away from lip service and vanity projects, Xi said.
The glorious past was created through solid work and only through solid work can a better future be created, Xi said.