China faces opportunities, challenges in 2019: Xi

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Joint efforts are needed as China faces both opportunities and challenges in 2019, said President Xi Jinping in his New Year speech on Monday.

The People's Republic of China will celebrate its 70th birthday in 2019, Xi said.

Chinese people, who are self-reliant, hardworking, and enterprising, have created a China miracle recognized by the world, he said, vowing to rely on the people and push forward the unprecedented great cause step by step.

In the new year, Xi said that the policies to cut taxes and fees should be well implemented to ease the burden on enterprises.

Sincere appreciation should be given to professionals in all areas while efforts be made to motivate responsible and competent grass-roots officials, he said.

The goal of lifting 10 million rural residents above the poverty line should be fulfilled as planned, he said, adding that veterans should receive proper attention and care.

Xi also extended gratitude to millions of hardworking people, such as deliverymen, sanitation workers and taxi drivers.