President Xi Jinping extends greetings to all Chinese people ahead of Spring Festival at a gathering at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday. (China Daily)
All of society should be encouraged to respect, love and support the elderly as China enters a period of an aging population, President Xi Jinping said on Sunday.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while offering greetings to all Chinese people at a Spring Festival gathering at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
This year's Spring Festival, China's Lunar New Year, falls on Tuesday, and more than 2,000 people from all walks of life attended the gathering.
To ensure that seniors are respected and properly cared for, and that they are able to live out their golden years in happiness, is critical for the country's harmony and stability, Xi said.
Noting that China has a long tradition of respecting and loving the elderly, Xi pledged greater efforts in caring for seniors to ensure that the aged enjoy happy lives.
Every person and every family should be encouraged to make contributions to the big family of the Chinese nation, he said.
As the country prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China this year, there are both development opportunities and risks ahead, Xi said.
The whole country should move forward under the strong leadership of the CPC, work hard to create a good future for the country, and continue to make efforts with people of all countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind, the president said.
In his speech, Xi stressed the importance of pursuing high-quality development, stabilizing economic growth, deepening reform and guarding against risks.
Last year, the economy made progress and stability was ensured, with new steps made to deepen reform and boost opening-up, Xi said, adding that the country has also made outstanding achievements in poverty reduction.
The great achievements of the Party and the country can be attributed to the hard work of the people, Xi said. As long as the Party relies on the people, there will be no difficulties that cannot be addressed, he added.
On Saturday, Xi also visited the People's Liberation Army Beijing Garrison Command where he extended festive greetings to soldiers and officers of the PLA, armed police, militia and reserve forces.
Noting that the Beijing Garrison Command was an important force directly commanded by the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, Xi called for efforts to implement the Party's thinking in strengthening the military for the new era, focus on combat readiness and reinforce defensive capabilities.
Xi called on the military force to remain fully trustworthy to the Party and the people. He also asked the Beijing command to efficiently perform their guard duties, effectively handle counterterrorism and emergency response procedures, ensure the absolute safety of the people, and maintain the capital's security and stability.
Xi also called for more efforts to strictly govern troops, improve their conduct and push forward the all-around progress of primary-level construction.