Pledges to boost reform, welfare of public and world stability are lauded
The New Year's speech delivered by President Xi Jinping on Sunday evening has gone viral on the internet and has won praise from observers at home and abroad with his pledges of greater efforts in boosting reform, public welfare and world stability.
Xi's speech, featuring traditional Chinese sayings such as, "Building a tall building begins with mounds of soil," attracted likes in social networks as many echoed his point of taking a step-by-step approach and working hard to turn blueprints into reality.
Shortly after its release, the video of the nearly 12-minute speech spread quickly on the two major Chinese social networks－Sina Weibo and WeChat.
Within the first 24 hours, the video issued by an official Weibo account of China Central Television alone scored more than 11 million views, 12,000 reposts and 44,000 likes.
Weibo user Jiangbaoqiu Barque quoted Xi's words, "Happiness is achieved through hard work," when commenting on the video.
Many WeChat users shared posts featuring nine photos that appeared on Xi's bookshelves for the first time as Xi delivered the annual speech.
The photos highlight some of Xi's great moments in the past year, including his visits to poor households and inspecting the military.
Bill Jones, Washington bureau chief of Executive Intelligence Review, said Xi's New Year's message delivered "a great sense of confidence and optimism" to the Chinese people and to the world.
"While the elimination of poverty has long been regarded as a major task for humanity… with China, that dream is now becoming a reality, and has created a tremendous amount of optimism that it can also be eliminated globally," Jones said.
Peter Frankopan, a professor of world history at Oxford University, echoed Xi's point on valuing history and boosting peace, because "it is true that the aim for all must be to build a community who benefit from and share in a common future".
Christian Growitsch, director of the Fraunhofer Center for the Economics of Materials in Germany, said Xi addresses the most important aspects for the people of China and he speaks about climate protection and international trade, as in the Belt and Road Initiative, which is "promising for world development in 2018".
Starry Lee Wai-king, a lawmaker chairing the House Committee of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said she was moved when Xi said Hong Kong will undoubtedly have an even better future with the strong support of the motherland. She said Hong Kong will be better integrated into the country's overall development.