After reading nearly a dozen reviews of President Xi Jinping's 2016 New Year's speech, I came away with an overall theme in all of the issues he addressed. President Xi, in giving his third New Year's speech for Chinese at home and around the world, outlined the accomplishments and challenging tasks that China has experienced and yet faces.
One thing that always strikes me is his determined focus on things that really matter. Things that get unnoticed by so many. Issues that many are not willing to face, much less mention. For example, regarding what he called his primary concern, he addressed the need of raising 10 of millions of rural people out of poverty and allowing them the opportunity to enjoy the prosperity that so many others have experienced in more developed areas. Also, is his acknowledgment and commitment of 'two systems, one country' for those who live in Hong Kong and Macao. His review of the Anti-Japanese war of resistance commemoration. The need and commitment to responsible growth in China. China's role in global responsibility in growing its international network of friends.
He didn't shy away from openly recognizing and recalling the high points and low points of the past year. He stated, "This year, we had joys, but we also had sorrows," recalling cruise ship Eastern Star capsizing, catastrophic fires and explosions at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin and the Shenzhen landslide.
He made his call for persistent work in achieving world peace, responsible leadership and mutual cooperation with other countries. He outlined his continued commitment to the people of China for rooting out and attacking corruption at every level, developing closer relations with Taiwan (and the successes already achieved there), Tu Youyou's winning of the Nobel Prize, China's achievement in producing their first large passenger aircraft, the C919, the reminbi's inclusion in the IMF, the Tianhe-2 supercomputer remaining the world's most powerful system for the sixth consecutive time as well as many other milestones China has achieved during the past year. He left us with the inspirational lesson and reminder, "All these show us that, as long as we persevere, dreams will come true."
His overall challenge to Chinese people everywhere seemed to be one that encouraged each of them to 'take responsibility' for the continued growth and development of China. And, as he is always mindful of the world in his own responsible role as a global leader, he left us with these powerful words, ""By turning antagonism to synergy, hostility to friendship, together we will forge a community of shared destiny for all humankind."