The Guards of Honor of the People's Liberation Army perform the national flag-raising duty at the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, Jan 1, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]
As we ushered in 2018, many will no doubt have been reflecting on the year just passed. Such reviews help orientate us for the year ahead, but perhaps more important is identifying our goals for the coming year and how to attain them.
By reviewing the past, one can learn lessons and take stock of the year's experiences, but by making a detailed schedule of what is to be done and how, one has hopes and expectations that can drive one forward. The same is true for a nation.
As President Xi Jinping said in his speech on New Year’s Eve, we have enough reason to be proud of what this country has achieved in its scientific innovations in the year 2017, such as the launch of the C919 airliner, the X-ray satellite Insight, a quantum computer, the rice production in saline soil on a trial basis, the first China-made aircraft carrier and so on.
And what the government has done for the well-being of residents, such as the lifting of more than 10 million rural residents out of poverty and the construction of 6 million apartments for residents living in shanty towns, has provided more people with a strong sense of fulfillment, happiness and security.
However, just as President Xi said, happiness can only be achieved through hard work. What needs to be done warrants even harder endeavors from people of all walks of life and the governments at all levels, in particular for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, but much needs to be done to further them, which is indispensable for the country to achieve economic growth and social progress.
It is of vital importance for governments at all levels to have a strong sense of mission and responsibility in addressing what has been undesirable in the discharge of their duties and what has long been the source of citizens' complaints and dissatisfaction. That explains why President Xi called for a down-to-earth approach to whatever work needs to be done, and for governments and officials at all levels to keep the interests and concerns of the people in their hearts.
Only by lending their ears to the concerns of the people and being sincere in addressing these concerns will we be able to "cut paths through mountains, and build bridges across rivers" and so move forward.