First session of 14th NPC concludes and Xi Jinping delivers important speech
BEIJING -- Having completed all items on its agenda, and with leading officials of state institutions elected and endorsed, the first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) concluded on Monday morning at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The session called on the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to rally more closely around the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, to hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and fully implement the guiding principles of the Party's 20th National Congress, to stay confident and build strength, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground, and make concerted efforts and stay industrious, striving in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance national rejuvenation on all fronts.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) delivered an important speech at the closing meeting. He said: "I was elected at this session to continue to serve as the president of the PRC. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the trust placed in me by all the deputies and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups. The people's trust has been my greatest source of strength to go forward and also the greatest responsibility on my shoulders. I will faithfully fulfill the duties prescribed in the Constitution, take the needs of the country as my mission and the people's interests as the yardstick to follow, be committed and honest in my duties, devote myself to my work without reserve, and never fail to live up to the great trust of the deputies and the people."
The chairman, vice chairpersons and secretary-general of the 14th NPC Standing Committee served as the meeting's executive chairpersons and were seated in the front rows on the rostrum. They are Zhao Leji, Li Hongzhong, Wang Dongming, Xiao Jie, Zheng Jianbang, Ding Zhongli, Hao Mingjin, Cai Dafeng, He Wei, Wu Weihua, Tie Ning, Peng Qinghua, Zhang Qingwei, Losang Jamcan, Shohrat Zakir, and Liu Qi.
Party and state leaders Li Qiang, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi and Han Zheng, among others, attended the meeting.
Seated at the rostrum were Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang and Wang Qishan, among others.
2,947 out of 2,977 deputies were present at the meeting with 30 absent, which reached a quorum.
The meeting was presided over by Zhao Leji, the meeting's executive chairperson and chairman of the Standing Committee of the 14th NPC.
At 9:00 a.m., Zhao announced the commencement of the meeting.
The meeting approved by vote the resolution of the first session of the 14th NPC on Report on the Work of the Government.
It was stated in the resolution that the session spoke highly of the historic achievements China has made in its economic and social development and the historic changes that took place over the past decade in the new era. The session decided to approve the report as deputies affirmed the State Council's work in 2022 and over the past five years, and agreed to the overall requirements, main objectives, policy directions and major tasks proposed in the report for economic and social development in 2023.
The meeting approved by vote the decision to amend the Legislation Law of the PRC. The decision will take effect from March 15. President Xi signed a presidential order to make the decision public.
The session adopted by vote resolution on the implementation of the national economic and social development plan in 2022 and on the plan for national economic and social development in 2023. The session decided to approve the report on the implementation of the national economic and social development plan in 2022 and on the draft plan for national economic and social development in 2023. The session approved the national economic and social development plan for 2023.
The session also passed by vote resolution on the implementation of the central and local budgets in 2022 and on the central and local budgets for 2023. The session decided to approve the report on the implementation of the central and local budgets in 2022 and on the draft central and local budgets for 2023. The session approved the central budget for 2023.
The session also adopted by vote resolutions on the work reports of the 13th NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate. The session decided to approve the three reports.
After all the above-mentioned items on the agenda were completed, Xi delivered an important speech.
Xi pointed out that the Chinese nation, with a civilization spanning over 5,000 years, has created a myriad of glories and also been through a lot of hardships and adversity. With the advent of modern times, China was reduced to a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, when bullying by foreign powers and frequent wars tore the country apart and plunged the Chinese people into an abyss of great suffering. Since its founding, the CPC has closely united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in working hard for a century to put an end to China's national humiliation. The Chinese people have become the masters of their future, the Chinese nation has achieved the great transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and China's national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.
Xi stressed that, from now until the middle of the century, the central task of the Party and all Chinese people is to complete building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advance national rejuvenation on all fronts. And the baton of this central task has now been historically passed on to our generation. In accordance with the strategic plans made at the 20th CPC National Congress, we must implement the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy, speed up the Chinese modernization, strive in unity, and continue to break new ground, so as to make achievements on the new journey that answer the call of our times and history and meet the expectations of our people, and make due contributions of our generation to building a great country and achieving national rejuvenation.
Xi pointed out that, on the new journey to build China into a great country and to achieve national rejuvenation, we must unswervingly promote high-quality development. We must fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts and accelerate the efforts to foster a new development pattern. We must fully implement the strategy for invigorating China through science and education, the workforce development strategy and the innovation-driven development strategy, and focus on achieving greater self-reliance and strength in science and technology. We must also promote transformation and upgrading of industries, promote coordinated urban-rural and regional development, make further efforts to build a green and low-carbon economy and society, and effectively upgrade the quality and appropriately expand the output of our economy, so as to constantly increase our economic strength, scientific and technological capabilities and composite national strength.
Xi stressed that we must remain committed to putting the people first. The people are the decisive force for building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. We must proactively develop whole-process people's democracy, uphold the unity between the Party leadership, the running of the country by the people and law-based governance, improve the system of institutions through which the people run the country, fulfill the people's will, protect their rights and interests and fully inspire their enthusiasm, initiative and creativity. We need to implement a people-centered philosophy of development, improve the system of income distribution, perfect the social security system, and enhance basic public services. We must ensure that the basic living needs of all our people are met, and work hard to resolve the pressing difficulties and problems that concern them most. We must do a better job of seeing to it that the gains of modernization benefit all our people fairly, and make more notable and substantive progress in promoting common prosperity for all. We must strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and the great unity of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation at home and abroad, thus mobilizing all positive factors to give shape to a mighty joint force for building a great country and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Xi pointed out that security is the foundation of development and stability is the prerequisite for prosperity. We must resolutely pursue a holistic approach to national security, improve the national security system, strengthen our capacity for safeguarding national security, enhance public security governance, and improve the social governance system. With this new security architecture, we will be able to better safeguard China's new pattern of development. We should comprehensively promote the modernization of our national defense and our armed forces, and build the people's military into a great wall of steel that can effectively safeguard our nation's sovereignty, security and the interests of our development.
Xi stressed that the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions is indispensable to the building of a great China. We should fully, faithfully, and resolutely implement the policy of "one country, two systems," under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will remain committed to law-based governance in Hong Kong and Macao and will support Hong Kong and Macao in developing their economies and improving people's livelihood, so that they can better integrate themselves into the overall development of the country. Realizing China's complete reunification is a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation as well as the essence of national rejuvenation. We should implement the Party's overall policy for resolving the Taiwan question in the new era, uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, actively promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, resolutely oppose foreign interference and separatist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence," and unswervingly promote progress towards national reunification.
Xi stressed that China's development benefits the world, and China cannot develop itself in isolation from the world. We must solidly promote high-level opening up, not only making good use of the global market and resources to develop ourselves, but also promoting common development of the world. We must hold high the banner of peace, development, and cooperation and mutual benefit, always stand on the right side of history, practice true multilateralism and the common values of mankind, actively participate in the reform and development of the global governance system, and promote the development of an open world economy. We should promote the implementation of Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, so as to add more stability and positive energy to world peace and development, and create a favorable international environment for our country's development.
Xi pointed out that, to do a good job of governing the country, the Party should do a good job of governing itself; and to build a great country, the Party must be thriving. To promote the building of a great country, it is essential to uphold the leadership of the CPC and the centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and to step up Party building in a solid manner. We must remain sober-minded and resolved about addressing the challenges unique to a big political party as ours, and have the courage to carry out self-reform. We must unceasingly exercise full and rigorous Party self-governance, unswervingly fight against corruption, and always maintain the unity and solidarity of the Party. By doing so, we will be able to ensure that the Party will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character, which will serve as a strong guarantee for building a great country and advancing national rejuvenation.
Xi stressed that the grand goal of building a great country and achieving national rejuvenation is encouraging and motivating. We should seize the day, remain confident in our history, exhibit greater historical initiative, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground, maintain strategic resolve, carry forward the fighting spirit, and strive to overcome all difficulties, to contribute to the great cause of building China into a great country and achieving national rejuvenation.
Xi received rounds of warm applause during his speech.
Zhao Leji made a speech after Xi. He said that he approves of and supports Xi's important speech, which reflects firm stance with the people and confidence in our history, demonstrates Xi's great sense of responsibilities and commitments, and guides the way forward. The speech will inspire the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to forge ahead with enterprise and fortitude on the new journey of building a great country and national rejuvenation. We should earnestly study, comprehend and comprehensively implement Xi's important speech to the letter, Zhao said. Comrade Xi was unanimously elected again the Chinese president and chairman of the CMC of the PRC, which reflects the common will and aspirations of the deputies to the NPC and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, Zhao said. The CPC's decision to establish Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and establish the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is of decisive significance for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era and the historic process of national rejuvenation. We must firmly advocate the decision to establish Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and establish the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, boost our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership, and stay confident in the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and firmly uphold Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and uphold the Party Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership, Zhao said.
Zhao said that the session fully implemented the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the first and second plenary sessions of the 20th CPC Central Committee, and successfully completed all the items on the agenda. The session is democratic, united, realistic and progressive. On behalf of the 14th NPC and its Standing Committee, he paid high tribute to the deputies to the 13th NPC, the members of the 13th NPC Standing Committee, and Comrade Li Zhanshu.
Zhao said that the 14th NPC Standing Committee was elected at the session and he was elected as its chairman. We sincerely thank all deputies for their trust and are fully aware of our glorious mission and great responsibility. We will always uphold the Party's overall leadership, rely closely on deputies to the NPC and the people, honor the Constitution, be committed and honest in our duties, have integrity and serve the public interest, accept the supervision of the people, devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the cause of the Party and the country, and never fail to live up to the great trust of deputies and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, Zhao said.
He said that the 20th CPC National Congress has drawn a grand blueprint for building a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. The 14th NPC and its Standing Committee should fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, earnestly fulfill the duties prescribed in the Constitution and laws, uphold the unity of the Party leadership, the running of the country by the people, and law-based governance, and adhere to the system of the people's congresses, improve it and ensure its effective operation, so as to promote the effective implementation of the objectives and tasks set at the 20th CPC National Congress, and contribute to the building of a modern socialist country in all respects.
Zhao said that we must develop whole-process people's democracy and ensure that the people engage in democratic elections, consultations, decision-making, management and oversight in accordance with the law. We should improve the institutional system to ensure the comprehensive implementation of the Constitution, and continuously raise the level of such implementation and the oversight thereof. We should further promote the scientific, democratic and law-based legislation to make the legal system more sound, comprehensive, integrated and authoritative. We should carry out correct, effective and lawful supervision to ensure the comprehensive and effective implementation of the Constitution and laws. We should give full play to the characteristics and advantages of the deputies who come from the people and are rooted in the people, and enable them to serve as the bridge between the Party, the state and the people. We should comprehensively strengthen the building of the NPC and its Standing Committee, and earnestly shoulder the mission and responsibility entrusted by the new journey of the new era.
At 9:57 a.m., Zhao announced that the first session of the 14th NPC of the PRC was closed. The congress concluded with the majestic national anthem.
Also seated at the rostrum were Ma Xingrui, Wang Yi, Yin Li, Shi Taifeng, Liu Guozhong, Li Ganjie, Li Shulei, He Weidong, He Lifeng, Zhang Youxia, Zhang Guoqing, Chen Wenqing, Chen Jining, Chen Min'er, Yuan Jiajun, Huang Kunming, Liu Jinguo, Wang Xiaohong, Li Shangfu, Wu Zhenglong, Shen Yiqin, Qin Gang, Zhang Jun, Ying Yong, Hu Chunhua, Shen Yueyue, Wang Yong, Zhou Qiang, Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai, Ho Hau Wah, Leung Chun-ying, Bater, Su Hui, Shao Hong, Gao Yunlong, Chen Wu, Mu Hong, Xian Hui, Wang Dongfeng, Jiang Xinzhi, Jiang Zuojun, He Baoxiang, Wang Guangqian, Qin Boyong, Zhu Yongxin, Yang Zhen, and Xu Qiliang, Sun Chunlan, Wang Chen, Liu He, Yang Xiaodu, Cao Jianming, Zhang Chunxian, Ji Bingxuan, Arken Imirbaki, Wan Exiang, Chen Zhu, Padma Choling, Wei Fenghe, Zhao Kezhi, Zhang Qingli, Liu Qibao, Wan Gang, Lu Zhangong, Ma Biao, Xia Baolong, Yang Chuantang, Li Bin, Wang Yongqing, Gu Shengzu, and Liu Xincheng, and members of the PRC CMC Liu Zhenli, Miao Hua and Zhang Shengmin, among others.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region John Lee and Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region Ho Iat Seng also attended the meeting as non-voting participants and were seated at the rostrum.
Leading officials in charge of relevant Central Party and government departments, relevant units of the People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force, and people's organizations attended the meeting as non-voting participants or observed the meeting.
Foreign envoys to China also observed the meeting.
On Monday afternoon, Xi and other Party and state leaders met with all deputies present at the first session of the 14th NPC and had a photo taken together.