Address to the First Session of the 12th National People's Congress

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China I Updated: 2021-12-03

Address to the First Session of the 12th National People's Congress 

March 17, 2013

Fellow deputies,

This session has elected me president of the People's Republic of China, and I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to you and the people of all ethnic groups for your trust in me. 

I am keenly aware that the presidency entails both a glorious mission and important responsibilities. I will faithfully perform the duties vested in me by the Constitution, be loyal to the country and the people, fulfill all my duties, dedicate myself to public service, advance the interests of the people and the country, subject myself to public oversight, and live up to the trust you and the people of all ethnic groups in China have placed in me. 

Fellow deputies, 

The People's Republic of China has a splendid history. Led by the first generation of the Party's collective central leadership with Mao Zedong as the core, the second generation of collective central leadership with Deng Xiaoping as the core, the third generation of collective central leadership with Jiang Zemin as the core, and the CPC Central Committee with Hu Jintao as general secretary, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups have, making unremitting efforts one generation after another, surmounted all difficulties and obstacles on our way ahead, and made world-renowned achievements. 

Today, our People's Republic stands proud and firm in the East. 

With his rich political vision, outstanding leadership and dedication, Comrade Hu Jintao made remarkable achievements in upholding and building socialism with Chinese characteristics during his ten years in office as Chinese president, and he won the heartfelt love of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and wide acclaim from all over the world. We express our sincere gratitude and great respect to him. 

Fellow deputies, 

The Chinese nation has an unbroken history of more than 5,000 years of civilization. It has created a rich and profound culture and has made an unforgettable contribution to the progress of human civilization. Over the course of several thousand years, what have closely bound us together, the 56 ethnic groups of China's 1.3-billionplus people, are our indomitable struggles, the beautiful homeland we have built together and the national spirit we have nurtured together. 

Running through this history, most importantly, are the ideals and vision that we share and hold dear. 

Realizing the goals of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious, and achieving the Chinese Dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, means that we will make China prosperous and strong, rejuvenate the nation, and bring happiness to the Chinese people. They both embody the ideals of the Chinese people today and represent our forefathers' glorious tradition of untiring pursuit of progress. 

Facing the mighty tide of the times and the great expectations of the people for a better life, we must not become complacent or slacken off in the slightest. We must redouble our efforts and forge ahead relentlessly to advance the cause of building Chinese socialism and endeavor to realize the Chinese Dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. 

– To realize the Chinese Dream, we must take our own path, which is the path of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is not an easy path. We are able to embark on this path thanks to the great endeavors of reform and opening up made in the past 30 years and more, the continuous quest made in the 60-plus years of the PRC, a thorough review of the evolution of the Chinese nation in its 170-plus years of modern history, and carrying forward the 5,000-plus years of Chinese civilization. This path is deeply rooted in history and broadly based on China's present realities. The Chinese nation has extraordinary capabilities, with which it has built the great Chinese civilization and with which we can expand and stay on the development path suited to China's national conditions. The people of all ethnic groups in China should have full confidence in the path, theory and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and steadfastly forge ahead along the correct Chinese path. 

– To realize the Chinese Dream, we must foster the Chinese spirit. It is the national spirit with patriotism at its core, and it is the spirit of the times with reform and innovation at its core. This spirit unites the people and pools their strength, and it is the source for rejuvenating and strengthening the country. Patriotism has always been the inner force that binds the Chinese nation together, and reform and innovation have always been the inner force that spurs us to keep abreast of the times in the course of reform and opening up. Our people of all ethnic groups must foster the great national spirit and follow the call of the times, strengthen our inner bond of unity and perseverance, and vigorously march towards the future. 

– To realize the Chinese Dream, we must pool China's strength, that is, the strength of great unity among the people of all ethnic groups. The Chinese Dream is the dream of our nation and every Chinese. As long as we close ranks and pursue this common dream with great determination, we can create enormous strength to achieve it and enjoy vast space for each and every one of us to fulfill our own dreams. All the Chinese who live in our great country in this great age share the opportunity to pursue excellence, realize our dreams, and develop ourselves along with our country. With a dream, opportunities and efforts, all beautiful things can be created. We the people of all ethnic groups in China should bear our mission in mind and make concerted efforts to turn the wisdom and strength of our 1.3 billion people into an invincible force. 

The Chinese Dream is, in the final analysis, the dream of the people; so we must rely firmly on them to realize it, and we must steadily deliver benefits to them. 

We must uphold at the same time the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of their own destiny, and the rule of law, maintain the principal position of the people, expand people's democracy, and promote law-based governance. We should uphold and improve the system of people's congresses as China's fundamental political system and the basic political systems of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC, of regional ethnic autonomy, and of community-level self-governance. We should build a service-oriented, accountable, law-based and clean government, and fully motivate the people. 

We should be guided by the strategic thinking that only development will make a difference, and steadfastly take economic development as the central task. We should comprehensively promote socialist economic, political, social and ecological advancement, further reform and opening up, boost balanced development, and continue to lay a solid material and cultural foundation for realizing the Chinese Dream. 

We should always bear the people's aspirations in mind and be responsive to their expectations, ensure their equal rights to participate in governance and develop themselves, and uphold social fairness and justice. We should make steady progress in ensuring that all the people enjoy the rights to education, employment, medical and old-age care, and housing; and we should continue to fulfill, uphold and develop the fundamental interests of all the people. All these efforts will enable our people to share fully and fairly the benefits of development and move steadily towards shared prosperity on the basis of continued economic and social development. 

We should consolidate and develop the broadest possible patriotic United Front, strengthen our Party's unity and cooperation with other political parties and personages without party affiliation, consolidate and develop socialist ethnic relations of equality, unity, mutual assistance and harmony, give full play to the positive role that religious figures and believers play in promoting economic and social development, and do our utmost to rally all the possible forces around us. 

Fellow deputies, 

"One must both have great ambition and make tireless efforts to achieve great exploits."1 China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come. There is still much to do and a long way to go before we can realize the Chinese Dream and create a better life for all our people, so every one of us should continue working towards this goal as hard as possible. 

Workers, farmers and intellectuals throughout the country should give full rein to their talents, work diligently, and play a key role in promoting economic and social development. All functionaries should selflessly act in the public interest, be honest and industrious, show concern for problems encountered by the people, and deliver practical services to them. All officers and men of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force should strive to build powerful armed forces that follow the command of the Party, are able to win battles and have fine conduct. They should become better able to perform their mission, steadfastly uphold China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and resolutely protect the lives and property of the people. All the people working in the non-public sector of the economy and from new social groups should promote creativity and entrepreneurship through hard work, give back to society what they have gained from it, bring benefits to the people, and become actively involved in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. Young people should aim high, acquire more knowledge, temper their will, and make their formative years richly rewarding ones in an era of progress. 

Our compatriots in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao should put the overall interests of the country and their regions first, and uphold and promote long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao. Our compatriots in Taiwan and on the mainland should join hands in supporting, maintaining and promoting the peaceful growth of cross-Straits relations, improving the people's lives on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, and creating a new future for the Chinese nation. Overseas Chinese should carry forward the Chinese nation's fine traditions of diligence and kindness, and contribute to the development of the country and friendship between the Chinese people and the people in their host countries. 

We Chinese are peace-loving people. We will uphold the principle of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, stay firm in pursuing peaceful development, resolutely follow a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, and continue to promote friendship and cooperation with other countries. We will fulfill our international responsibilities and obligations, and continue to work with the peoples of all other countries to advance the lofty cause of peace and development of mankind. 

Fellow deputies, 

The CPC is the central force for leading and bringing together people of all ethnic groups in advancing the great cause of building Chinese socialism. It shoulders a historical mission and faces the tests of our times. We must uphold the principles that the Party was founded for the public good, that it exercises state power for the people, and that it should supervise its own conduct and operate under strict discipline. We must strengthen Party building in all respects, steadily improve the Party's art of leadership and governance, and make it better able to fight corruption, prevent degeneration and ward off risks. All our Party members, leading officials in particular, should be firm in our belief, always place the people above all else in our hearts and carry forward the Party's fine traditions and conduct. We should firmly oppose going through the motions, excessive bureaucracy, selfindulgence, and extravagance, resolutely combat corruption and other misconduct, preserve Communists' political integrity, and dedicate ourselves to the cause of the Party and the people. 

Fellow deputies, 

Achieving great goals requires perseverance. All political parties, organizations, ethnic groups, social groups and people from all walks of life in China should rally more closely around the CPC Central Committee, comprehensively implement the guiding principles of the Party's 18th National Congress, follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development. We should remain modest and prudent, work hard, and forge ahead with determination to achieve new and bigger victories in realizing a moderately prosperous society in all respects and accelerating socialist modernization, and thus make new and bigger contribution to mankind. 


1 The Book of History (Shang Shu), a collection of documents and speeches by rulers of the Shang (c. 1600-1046 BC) and Zhou (1046-256 BC) dynasties.

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