Xi’s 5 leadership years

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Five years on, since Xi Jinping became president, China has made historical achievements – from international trade to global diplomacy to build a community with a shared future for humanity, writes Xinhua.

In 2013, inside its magnificent auditorium, Xi Jinping was elected president of the People’s Republic of China by nearly 3,000 deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC). This month when the congress convenes, deputies are expected to once again elect a president.

Mr Xi took over the presidency at a time when public concerns were common about corruption, the wealth gap and pollution. After being elected, Mr Xi said, “In face of the mighty trend of the times and earnest expectations of the people for a better life, we cannot have the slightest complacency, or get the slightest bit slack at work.”

He expounded his vision of a Chinese dream of national rejuvenation to be made true by and for the people.

Five years on, China has made historic achievements. The Chinese are much more optimistic.

Re-elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee last October, Mr Xi said the Chinese nation, which since modern times had endured so much for so long, achieved a tremendous transformation: it has stood up, grown rich and is becoming strong.

It is the fifth year since Mr Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to benefit the world through trade and infrastructure cooperation.

In early 2016, the world’s first China-initiated multilateral financial institute – the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – started operating. Its membership has since expanded to 84.

A stronger China also has much to offer within its boundaries.

The country’s foreign direct investment hit all-time high in 2017, reaching 878 billion yuan ($138.4 billion). More investment went to the tech sector both in services and manufacturing. Trading hubs across the country have seen more foreign businessmen than ever before. Some, with foreign nationals from over 100 countries, are being turned into an international marketplace.

Mr Xi’s idea of building a community of shared future for humanity has won worldwide recognition and plaudits. A general goal of China’s diplomacy is to foster a new type of international relations and to build a community with a shared future for humanity.

The goal can trace its roots in the ancient Chinese philosophy of “a just cause should be pursued for common good,” in the core values of a foreign policy of peace which China has been following for more than six decades, and in Mr Xi’s pursuit of common well-being for the Chinese and people around the world.

Over the past five years, China hosted a series of global summits including the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the G20 2016 Summit in Hangzhou, and the BRICS Summit in Xiamen. Under Mr Xi, people have seen a further rise in China’s international influence, ability to inspire, and power to shape; and China has made great new contributions to global peace and development.

The philosophy underpinning the profound changes in China over the past five years was crystallised as “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”. In a workshop attended by senior officials in January, Mr Xi used a metaphor to describe the work for them. “To meet the test of our time, we are like exam takers and the people will judge our performance,” he said.

The test is yet to finish. Mr Xi laid out a two-step approach to future development: from 2020 to 2035, working to basically realise socialist modernisation; from 2035 to the middle of the century, developing China into a great modern socialist country.

There are, of course, challenges ahead. China’s per capita GDP has exceeded $8,000 but lags far behind that of the United States, which is $57,000. Chinese industrial structure remains outdated, and its ability to innovate is not strong enough. Risks in the financial system have not been eliminated.

Mr Xi defined the “principal contradiction” facing Chinese society as one between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.

In his New Year speech this year, Mr Xi said, “I am aware of the people’s biggest concerns, such as education, employment, income, social security, healthcare, old-age security, housing and the environment.”

He said the efforts at improving people’s well-being had not always been satisfactory and the success of yesterday was no guarantee of success forever.

Mr Xi kept reminding fellow party and government cadres that the new era belongs to those who work hard and urged them to open a new chapter in the history of the Chinese people’s great struggle.

Actions to follow Mr Xi’s orders will be unveiled at the NPC session. Under Mr Xi’s leadership, China will go from strength to strength.

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