BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping, on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, extended Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese people Wednesday.
Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered a speech to a festival reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, greeting all Chinese on the mainland, in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and abroad.
The Spring Festival, or the Lunar New Year, is regarded as the most important traditional festival for those of Chinese origin, characterized by family gatherings, feasts and performances. It falls on Feb. 16 this year.
The reception was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang. Other senior leaders, including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Zhang Gaoli, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng, also greeted the present 2,000 people.
HARD WORK IN NEW ERA
Xi encouraged Chinese people to work hard in the new era, saying happiness can only be earned by filling one's life with endeavors.
"There will be difficulties in our endeavor, but battling them will also purify our souls and strengthen our faith," said Xi.
Xi stressed that the great endeavor of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics will take generations, even dozens of generations, of hard work.
Those fighting in these efforts will be richest in spirit, and will have the most profound understanding of happiness, according to Xi.
Xi called on CPC members to always focus their work on the aspirations of the people to live a better life, and to always fight for the people and with the people.
There should be both competition and solidarity in the endeavor, said Xi.
At the 19th CPC National Congress in October, the Party announced that socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era with decades of hard work.
Reviewing the achievements made by the Chinese people over the last year, Xi said time is the "most objective witness."
Xi praised the achievements in developing the economy, deepening reform, advancing law-based governance, improving people's lives and fighting poverty, as well as the progress in national defense and building the armed forces, diplomacy on all fronts, and full and strict governance over the CPC. Xi said this progress has "propelled the vessel of China toward new waters."
Xi said these achievements were made by the Chinese people with their own hands and generations of continuous hard work and expressed the highest respect to the old generations of heroes, model workers, soldiers and comrades who contributed to China's national independence, development and prosperity.
Noting that 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up policy, Xi said over the last 40 years, China has taken the great leap from "catching up with the times" to "leading the times."
Xi said the 19th CPC National Congress held last year outlined the direction for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and charted the new journey toward the goal of building a modern socialist China.
Facing a complicated international environment and the arduous missions of reform, development and stability in 2018, Xi called on the whole Party, military and Chinese people of all ethnic groups to rally closely around the CPC Central Committee and work to turn the guidelines, strategies and arrangements into reality with concrete and down-to-earth efforts.
Speaking of traditional family values, Xi said that "during the Spring Festival, when members of a family get together, we feel that reunion is happiness and unity is strength."
Family has always been valued by the Chinese people and harmony in a family makes everything successful, said Xi.
"We should nurture and practice core socialist values, foster the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation, and love both family and the country," he said.
Xi also urged the people to integrate their personal and family dreams with the Chinese Dream.
"We should pool the wisdom and strength of more than 1.3 billion Chinese people in more than 400 million households to strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation," he said.