China will embrace its Lunar New Year Saturday, a new start for the nation to race against time to reach the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
The past year's journey forged ahead through the wind and rain. Externally, the world faced increasing instability and uncertainty, as protectionism and unilateralism were rising. Internally, the country tackled various challenges during its transition to high-quality growth.
Against such a backdrop, China remains on a steady track toward prosperity and strength. Its year-on-year GDP growth reached 6.1 percent in 2019, leading major world economies and contributing around 30 percent of global growth.
China's GDP per capita has crossed the threshold of 10,000 U.S. dollars, signaling the fact it has become a typical middle-income country. It also increased the world's population above this level from about 1.5 billion in 2018 to nearly 3 billion today.
China is also promoting an open and inclusive world economy. The country promotes trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, with increased number of free trade zones and the successful holding of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.
It has strengthened its network of global partnerships, advanced high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, stayed committed to multilateralism, and played a mediating role in various hotspot issues to effectively promote world peace and stability.
A growing China means a greater force for peace, progress and prosperity. It offers other developing economies a model of how to achieve modernization. Every Chinese person must feel proud of living in such a great era.
The year 2020 will become a new milestone in China's development. The country will see a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Absolute poverty will be eliminated for the first time in the nation's 5,000-year history. This also means that China will meet the United Nations poverty reduction goal 10 years ahead of schedule.
The progress China has achieved does not change the fact that it is still a developing nation. In terms of per capita GDP and the rate of urbanization, China still lags behind that of developed economies by a large margin. Development gap between western and eastern parts of the country is still huge. The country must sort out more problems in innovation, ecological protection, housing and education. China has also arrived at a critical point that whether it could avoid the middle-income trap, a typical conundrum faced by many developing middle-income economies.
Therefore, a stronger sense of urgency is needed. The country is stepping up its supply-side structural reform, implementing set policies and measures to sustain development, and better taking care of its 1.4 billion people's wellbeing. China will also widen market access for foreign investors, improve the business environment, foster new drivers of opening-up, and strengthen multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
Time and history wait for no one as they are both on the side of the diligent. Trials and hardships lie ahead, but battling difficulties will strengthen the nation's faith in its dream, and deliver the long-cherished aspirations for a better future, both of China and the world.