As 2018 comes to an end, President Xi Jinping looks back at China’s eventful year and the continued development and prosperity ahead in 2019. We look at the main points of his speech and more.
Referring to China as a country of people on the move running at full speed energetically pursuing prosperity for realisation of their dreams, President Xi Jinping delivered his appreciation for the hard work from the deliverymen, street cleaners, taxi drivers and the many countless working to create a beautiful society for China, while continuing the countries efforts to protect the environment from air, river and soil pollution.
Rapid economic development
President Xi Jinping talks about the vast number of economic development projects such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Heibei region, Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay area
An area which has seen tremendous growth from industries including automobile, electronics, petrochemical, software and aircraft, also attracting foreign investments in manufacturing and health services. The area in 2017 produced 10% of China’s GDP, representing an important part of China’s economy.
Yangtze River Economic Belt
An economic region encompassing a total of 28 cities including Shanghai which attracts a range of sectors from financing, banking and property to manufacturing, energy and steel. This area is also popular for foreign investment and contributes 20% of China’s GDP.
Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay area and the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge
An economic blueprint integrating Hong Kong and Macau with the major southern cities of Mainland China including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Foshan. With nearly 70 million people residing in the Greater Bay area, it contributes around £1.2 trillion to the economy – to put this into perspective, this region alone generates more than G20 countries including Australia, Indonesia and Mexico. Furthermore, the region’s economy is expected to double by 2025 to nearly £2.5 trillion according to HSBC.
The area is home to famous Chinese brands such as Huawei, Tencent and ZTE.
At the heart of this bay stands the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world - Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau bridge, which President Xi Jinping discusses in his speech. Opened in October 2018 spanning a total of 34 miles, it connects Hong Kong in the East with Macau and the Mainland city of Zhuhai in the West. This astonishing engineering masterpiece consists of a tunnel; a man-made island and a three cable-stayed bridge.
President Xi Jinping also celebrated the many from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau who now have resident permits for Mainland and the opening of Hong Kong’s integration to China’s high speed rail network, which became a destination stop this year, linking West Kowloon in Hong Kong to Shenzhen in around 20 minutes, Guangzhou in under 1 hour and Shanghai in around 8 hours at up to speeds of 220 mph.
China going global
President Xi Jinping recalled his visit to Hainan’s pilot free trade zone which opened in the October. With relaxation on the restrictions for market access for foreign companies; Hainan’s pilot free trade zone is part of China’s plans to make Hainan a hub for tourism and shopping together with offerng services and support for development of the Belt and Road Initiative and other national strategies. Xi Jinping also visited Shenzhen Qianhai Harbor, a reclaimed land area due to be completed in 2020 to focus on areas in finance, modern logistics, information services and technology services; and the bustling Shanghai Zhangjiang High Tech Park - an area of more than 3,600 companies and 100,000 people all specialising in life sciences, software, semiconductors, and information technology.
President Xi Jinping also celebrated the development of the Belt and Road initiative and the first China International Import Expo which was held in Shanghai in the year. 2,800 companies from all the G20 member states, as well as 50 countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative attended the expo designed to be a world leading event promoting free trade and global trading economy
China also successfully launched the Chang’e-4 lunar probe with plans to land it on the moon in early 2019, using the BeiDou satellite to help its navigation into space, which also launched globally in 2018.
China’s second aircraft carrier had its maiden voyage in 2018 together with the Chinese made amphibious aircraft that performed first water launch.
President Xi Jinping saluted every scientist, engineer and national builder who made all these achievements possible.
Improving prosperity for the many
President Xi Jinping talked about his appreciate for those working in hardship and wished good health to over 2.8 million officials living and working in villages and local village leaders whose devotion to hard work helped 125 poor counties, and 10 million poverty-stricken rural residents be lifted out of poverty and a total of 5.8 million new homes for those living in dilapidated homes
Furthermore, China took steps to lower the price of 17 cancer-fighting drugs, including them on medical insurance; and saw the rise in number of students going to University together with 100 million rural residents migrating to the main cities, with the creation of 13 million jobs for them.
Looking to the future, President Xi Jinping confirmed his intentions to change policies to cut tax and fees to ease burden on enterprise and stimulate the energy of the many talents of China.