The closing remarks by Xi about the end of the pleasant reforms may be, but don’t have to be an indication that times could get tougher for Chinese citizens in economic terms. It may just as well suggest that the task of governing China is becoming more difficult for the leaders, or simply to understate China’s prospects in front of a Russian audience. This kind of “deep sigh” seems to run through the China-related paragraphs of the interview. Either way, the interview has now been published in Chinese online media, too.
From February 6 to 8, Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping went to the southern Russian coastal city of Sochi to attend the opening ceremony of the twenty-second Olympic Games. While in Russia, Xi Jinping also held a bilateral meeting with Russian president Putin. He also gave an interview to Russian television, answering anchor Buliliaofu’s [Chinese phonetics of a Russian name] questions about the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Sino-Russian relations, the prospects of China’s comprehensive and deepened reform and development, and other questions.
2月6日至8日，中国 国家主席习近平赴俄罗斯南部海滨城市索契出席第二十二届冬季奥林匹克运动会开幕式。在俄期间，习近平还与俄总统普京举行了双边会晤。习近平还接受了俄罗斯 电视台的专访，就索契冬奥会、中俄关系、中国全面深化改革和发展前景等问题回答了主持人布里廖夫提问。
Q: What’s your impression of Sochi?
A: This is my first visit to Sochi, but I have heard about Sochi before. When I was young, I read the novel “How the Steel was Tempered”, which Ostrovsky completed right here in Sochi. Legend has it that Prometheus was exiled to the mountains around Sochi, and Sochi has preserved many Roman and Byzantine empire remains, which should tell that Sochi is a city with a time-honored culture.
Sochi’s geographic position is special, in that it belongs to the northernmost region with subtropical climate. From what I have seen and heard here, this is all true. All four seasons of the year are green, the skies and seas are blue, with very good natural alpine ski areas. The people of Sochi are very friendly and hospitable. Sochi is very vital, charming, and the perfect place for holding the Winter Olympic Games. After the Winter Olympic Games, this place will be even better known, and many people, including Chinese tourists, will come here.
索 契地理位置特殊，是地球最北端唯一属于亚热带气候的地区。这次来索契，所见所闻，果然名不虚传。这里四季常绿，蓝蓝的天，蓝蓝的海，有很好的天然高山雪 场。索契人民热情好客。索契很有活力，很有魅力，举办冬奥会再适合不过了。索契冬奥会之后，这里的名声会更大，更多的人包括中国游客会慕名而来。
Q: What are your hopes for the Chinese delegation’s performance during the Sochi Winter Olympics?
A: China still lags behind in winter sports, especially when it comes to countries that are strong in these fields. In recent years, we have made rather quick progress in ice-skating, with some strengths in free-style skiing. This morning, I met some athletes and coaches of the Chinese sports delegation. The Chinese athletes have made great training efforts, they will carry forward the Olympic spirit, will overcome their selves, go beyond themselves, and develop to their best levels.
Meantime, the Chinese cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou have officially put forward their joint application to the International Olympic Committee to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. We are also here to learn from the Russian people, from the Russian athletes, from the strong Russian sports disciplines, and the successful Russian methodology in holding the Winter Olympic Games.
中国冬季运动项 目特别是滑雪项目竞技水平同冰雪运动强国相比还有较大差距。近些年，我们在滑冰项目上进步较快，在自由式滑雪空中技巧等项目上具备一定实力。今天上午，我 见了中国体育代表团部分运动员、教练员。中国运动员为参加索契冬奥会做了艰苦训练，他们会发扬奥林匹克精神，努力战胜自我、超越自我，发挥自己的最好水 平。
Q: You will soon have served as China’s state chairman for a year. How does it feel to be the leader of such a big country?
A: China is a country with a territory of 9.6 million square kilometers, fifty-six nationalities, 1.3 billion inhabitants, with a level of economic development that isn’t very high so far, with the people’s standard of living also not being very high yet. To govern such a country isn’t easy. One has to have a long-term perspective, but be down-to-earth, too. In the past, I have worked in many different places in China. I know very well that from China’s east to its west, from the local to the central level, the differences are too big. Therefore, to be a Chinese leader, one has to understand the issues clearly, to make overall plans while taking all factors into consideration, to maintain an overlall balance, to highlight the key issues, [to mobilize what is pivotal?] , and sometimes, you have to drop small things to grasp big things, [...], or figuratively speaking, it takes ten fingers to play the piano.
中国有960万平方公里国土，56个民族，13亿多人口，经济社会发展水平还不高，人民生活水平也还不高，治理这样一个国家很不容易，必须登高望远，同时 必须脚踏实地。我曾在中国不同地方长期工作，深知中国从东部到西部，从地方到中央，各地各层级方方面面的差异太大了。因此，在中国当领导人，必须在把情况 搞清楚的基础上，统筹兼顾、综合平衡，突出重点、带动全局，有的时候要抓大放小、以大兼小，有的时候又要以小带大、小中见大，形象地说，就是要十个指头弹 钢琴。
Q: Last year, when you had just become state chairman, the first country you visited was Russia. This year, right after New Year, the first country you visit is once again Russia. The Russian people feel heartened by this. What were your considerations when making this decision?
A: Yesterday, I looked back together with President Putin, during our meeting. I am very satisfied with the development of Sino-Russian relations. This is a time when the development of Sino-Russian relations has the most solid foundations, the highest degree of mutual trust, and the greatest degree of regional and global influence. Visits between friends narrow distance, between relatives bring closeness. Holding the Winter Olympic Games is a happy occasion for Russia, and a great event for the international Olympic movement. China and Russia are good neighbors, good friends, and good partners. I and President Putin are old friends. According to the tradition of Chinese people, when neighbors and friends have a happy occasion at their homes, one obviously wants to congratulate and to participate together with the Russian people.
Q: The 18th central committee’s third plenary session passed the decision to comprehensively deepen reform and on several other important issues. You are the head of the leading group [or steering group, 领导小组]. What is your governing philosophy?
A: To focus the abilities to promote reform, we have formed the central leading group for the comprehensive deepening of reform, headed by me. The task is to unify, deploy and to coordinate some important issues. I have called this “one-tenth deployment, nine-tenths implementation”.
In a country like China with 1.3 billion people, it isn’t easy to deepen reform. After 30 years of reform, China has entered the deep water [or blue water], and all the pleasant reforms have been completed. The delicious meat has been eaten, and what is still on the dishes are rather tough bones. This requires our courage, and steady moves. Courage means to push reform even when it is difficult, and to prove worthy, to tackle the hard bones, and to enter dangerous shoals. Steadiness is about keeping to the accurate direction, driving steadily, and, above all, to avoid disruptive mistakes.
To summarize my governing philosophy, it is to serve the people and to assume the responsibilities that are my duties.
在中国这样一个拥有13亿多人口的国家深化改革，绝非易事。中国改革经过30多年，已进入深水区，可以说，容易的、皆大欢喜的改革已经完成了， 好吃的肉都吃掉了，剩下的都是难啃的硬骨头。这就要求我们胆子要大、步子要稳。胆子要大，就是改革再难也要向前推进，敢于担当，敢于啃硬骨头，敢于涉险 滩。步子要稳，就是方向一定要准，行驶一定要稳，尤其是不能犯颠覆性错误。