Both an important speech (重要讲话) itself and the Chinese press coverage are part of the same decoration team, aiming at not only creating a verbal message, but an atmosphere, too. Newly elected state chairman Xi Jinping‘s speech on Sunday was no exception.
Today, our People’s Republic stands towering in the East of the world.
Comrade Hu Jintao held the post of state chairman for ten years, and with a wealth of political wisdom, excellent leadership qualities, assiduous work spirit, did outstanding deeds to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, won the love and support from all the nationalities of China and the international community’s universal praise. We express our sincere gratitude and greatest respect to Comrade Hu Jintao!
No need to repeat oneself. In Xinhua newsagency’s coverage, it is Xi Jinping himself who stands towering:
Wearing a dark-blue suit and a red tie, the membership hanging on his chest, Xi Jinping, tall of stature, stood smiling, calmly and self-confident. His voice clear, bright and vigorous, looking frank and honest, resolute and steadfast, he revealed the power of stirring people to action.
“To achieve the construction of a moderately prosperous society, and the goal of a strong and prosperous, democratic and civilized, harmonious socialist modern motherland, to achieve the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, this means achieving modern national prosperity and strength, vigorous national revitalization, and the happiness of the people …”
Witnessed by the Great Hall of the People, under the stars of its dome, under surges of applause, Xi Jinping firmly said:
To bring about the Chinese dream, we must take the Chinese road.
To bring about the Chinese dream, we must advance the Chinese spirit.
To bring about the Chinese dream we must cohere Chinese power.
This is the duty the leaders of the People’s Republic of China take for the motherland, the people: we must never be complacent, we must never be sluggish, we must make persistent efforts, advance boldly, continue to push forward the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and continue to struggle for the achievement of the Chinese dream of China’s great rejuvenation.
This is our promise to the people: The Chinese dream is, after all, the dream of the Chinese people, it must firmly rely on the people to achieve it, it must continuously bring benefit for the people.
That much from the Xinhua report, and back to the actual speech:
development remains the overriding (or absolute) strategic ideology (我们要坚持发展是硬道理的战略思想), said Xi, thus quoting “Deng Xiaoping theory”, but added that the fruits from development should benefit the entire people in a fairer way – and that China was still in “the first stage of socialism”.1)
Taiwan didn’t escape a mention either2):
Numerous Taiwanese compatriots and mainland compatriots join hands and support, maintain and promote cross-strait relations and peaceful development, enhance the happiness and benefit of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, jointly set up the new and further prospects of the Chinese nation. Numerous overseas Chinese want to make contributions to carry forward the Chinese nation’s the fine, diligent and kind Chinese tradition, and work diligently to advance the motherlands development, to promote the Chinese people’s and local people’s friendship.
The Chinese people love peace. We will hold the banner of peace, development, cooperation and win-win high, we won’t change our road of peaceful development, we won’t change the strategy of mutual benefit and opening up, we will make efforts to cooperate friendly with all the countries of the world, fulfill our international responsibilities and duties, continue to work with all people in all countries to advance the lofty cause of humankind’s peace and development.
1) 31 members of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) are farmers-turned migrant workers, China Radio International (CRI) reported on Sunday. That number was a tenfold increase from the 11th NPC. But they are hardly a match to the 90 NPC members who appear to be worth at least 1.8 billion Yuan (The Economist, March 16, 2013, page 53).
2) Stability in Hong Kong and Macau was an issue addressed by Xi, too. One day later, on March 18, Xi reminded visiting Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying that implementation was the key to the chief executive’s vision of “seeking change while maintaining stability” in Hong Kong.
“I’m not an idiot either”, replied Leung. (No, Leung said no such thing. This is just a malicious rumor, courtesy of JR.)