China Focus: Xi's election as president fills country with confidence, hope

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-17 22:39:27|Editor: Liangyu
Video PlayerClose

BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- As a leader who has led China to historic achievements during the past five years, Xi Jinping was elected president again on Saturday amid high expectations.

Both by a unanimous vote, Xi was elected Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the People's Republic of China at the ongoing first session of the 13th National People's Congress, the national legislature.

"The result is in line with the will of the people," said Liu Jiaqi, a farmer from the southwestern Chongqing Municipality, and one of the 2,970 national lawmakers who cast their votes at the Great Hall of the People.

He said that Xi's effort in poverty alleviation has transformed his hometown Muhe village from nowhere to a destination for recreational agriculture featuring apple picking and sightseeing.

"The country worked out a detailed poverty relief timetable, and has been pushing ahead with rural industries," he said. "Under the leadership of President Xi, our farmers can expect a better life in the years to come."

During the past five years, Xi has once and again called on the Communist Party of China (CPC) to strive for a "better life" for the people.

Over that period, China has seen its economy expand to more than 82 trillion yuan (13 trillion U.S. dollars) from 54 trillion yuan, with the per capita disposable income growing by 7.3 percent year-on-year in real terms.

More than 68.5 million people had been lifted out of poverty in five years, and the middle-income population has reached 400 million and is still growing.

Jiang Peng, a government worker in Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County of Chongqing, spent his morning sitting in front of the TV on Saturday.

"I was excited to see the election result and President Xi taking an oath to the Constitution," he said. "He is a charismatic leader with a strong sense of responsibility."

Jiang's hometown, once underdeveloped, tucked away in mountains, has seen significant changes. "We have more money in our pockets. Many of my families and friends have cars, which was unimaginable years ago," he said.

The county was connected by high speed rail and had its first cinema and high-end supermarket opened in recent years. "We seldom ate seafood before, but now we can buy seafood fresh from the supermarket any time we want," he said.

Jiang hopes that the leadership will do more to stabilize rising house prices.

Reform has been high on Xi's agenda over the past five years.

The Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, headed by Xi, introduced more than 1,500 measures, including supply-side structural reform, and cutting government red tape and bureaucracy to encourage middle and small-sized businesses.

"It has been a golden time for businessmen, and I'm glad to see that it continues to be so," said Li Xiang, general manager of Huaxing North Automotive Trading Company located in Tianjin Municipality.

"I can clearly feel President Xi's concern about entrepreneurs," he said. In 2017, the country issued a guideline encouraging entrepreneurship, which touched him deeply.

"During the past five years China has put much emphasis on entrepreneurship, and measures such as streamlining government administration have created a good environment for business," Li said.

Zeng Dexiang, chairman of Guangdong-based optical instrument company Bosma Corp., said that thanks to the country's push in supply-side reform and innovation-driven growth, his company had upgraded its products and opened a joint venture in Silicon Valley in 2015.

"The leadership's toughness in cracking down on corruption has also been a boost for the entrepreneurial environment," he said. "More transparency and less under-the-table deals have greatly improved efficiency."

Over the past five years, Xi's drastic anti-corruption drive has transformed public life. Every corner of the system was examined, leading to the punishment of more than 1.5 million officials in five years.

"The political environment is healthier and ordinary people have more confidence in officials," said Hong Jincheng, a local disciplinary official of Quanzhou City, east China's Fujian Province.

Hong looks forward to more anti-corruption efforts, especially at the grassroots level, with the election of Xi.

Chinese people are finding the air and the water cleaner, too.

"China has come up with drastic measures to improve environment," said Li Chunru, head of a "bird hospital" in the eastern Jiangxi Province.

Li is grateful that the number of migrant birds spending winter at the Poyang Lake grew to 700,000 last year, from less than 500,000 five years ago.

The national legislature adopted an institutional restructuring plan on Saturday, deciding to establish or reorganize ministries, including a new and more powerful ministry of ecological environment.

"The new ministry shows the country's resolution in environmental protection," Li said.

With the conviction that making a prosperous country and a strong military should go hand in hand, Xi has pushed ahead with reforms in national defense.

"There has been upgrading in the system, structure, capacity and working style of the military during the past five years," said Zhan Houshun, air force commander of the Western Theater Command.

"Some core values have been restored and some deep-rooted problems resolved in the people's army," said commander of the 81st group of PLA Ground Force Huang Ming. "Xi Jinping's election as the president and CMC chairman is a blessing for the country, the military and the people."

Besides benefiting its own people, a stronger and more prosperous China has been sharing the proceeds of growth with the rest of the world. China has been working to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for humanity.

"President Xi is a practical man and means what he says," said Li Chao, chairman of a Henan-based agricultural company. Li said he looks forward to more policies under the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Xi in 2013.

The company's overseas program in Tajikistan has witnessed fast development thanks to the initiative. "We introduced some new types of cotton, corn and wheat to Tajikistan, and hired over 300 local farmers who can earn no less than government employees," he said.

"The election has further strengthened our confidence in the continuity of policies related to the Belt and Road, and we are looking forward to sharing more opportunities with countries and people involved," he said.

"China has seen its international status continuously rising over the past five years," said Huang Guanjie, a French-Chinese and reporter with Paris-based Chinese language newspaper Nouvelles d'Europe.

"Proposals such as the Belt and Road Initiative and a global community with shared future reflects the character of a responsible major country and make an ideal way to solve regional conflicts," Huang said. "The election is in line with the interests of the country and the needs of our times."