Xi Jinping, First Speech as General Secretary, Nov. 15, 2012

Xi Jinping, a member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, was elevated to General Secretary of the Party, the supreme leader. He spoke at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
November 15, 2012

"Good day, ladies, gentlemen, and friends. Sorry to have kept you waiting. I am very happy to meet with you, friends of the press.

Yesterday, the 18th CPC [Communist Party of China] National Congress victoriously concluded.

During these days, friends of the press have made lots of coverage on the congress and conveyed China's voice in abundance to every country around the world. Everyone has been very dedicated, professional and hardworking. For this, on behalf of the Secretariat of the 18th Party Congress, I would like to express sincere gratitude to you.

Just now, we have conducted the first plenary meeting of the 18th CPC Central Committee and elected the new central leadership organisation during the meeting. The plenary meeting election has produced seven Standing Committee members of the Political Bureau and elected me as the CPC General Secretary.

Here, let me introduce to you my colleagues, the other six Standing Committee members.

They are: Comrade Li Keqiang, Comrade Zhang Dejiang, Comrade Yu Zhengsheng, Comrade Liu Yunshan, Comrade Wang Qishan, and Comrade Zhang Gaoli.

Comrade Li Keqiang served as a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee while other comrades served as members of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee. You have known them well.

Here, on behalf of the members of the new central leadership organisation, I sincerely thank all comrades of the party for their trust in us. We will live up to the great trust placed on and the mission assigned to us.

The great trust of all members of the party and the expectations of people of all ethnic groups around the country are not only a tremendous encouragement to our doing the work well, but also a heavy burden on our shoulders.

This great responsibility is the responsibility to our nation. Our nation is a great nation.

During the civilisation and development process of more than 5,000 years, the Chinese nation has made an indelible contribution to the civilisation and advancement of mankind.

In the modern era, our nation experienced constant hardship and difficulties. The Chinese nation reached the most dangerous period. Since then, countless people with lofty ideals to realise the great revival of the Chinese nation rose to resist and fight, but failed one time after another.

Since the founding of the CPC, we have united and led the people to advance and struggle tenaciously, transforming the impoverished and backward Old China into the New China that has become prosperous and strong gradually. The great revival of the Chinese nation has demonstrated unprecedented bright prospects.

Our responsibility is to unite and lead people of the entire party and of all ethnic groups around the country while accepting the baton of history and continuing to work for realising the great revival of the Chinese nation in order to let the Chinese nation stand more firmly and powerfully among all nations around the world and make a greater contribution to mankind.

This great responsibility is the responsibility to the people. Our people are a great people. During the long process of history, by relying on our own diligence, courage and wisdom, Chinese people have opened up a good and beautiful home where all ethnic groups live in harmony and fostered an excellent culture that never fades.

Our people love life and expect better education, more stable jobs, better income, more reliable social security, medical care of a higher standard, more comfortable living conditions, and a more beautiful environment.

They hope that their children can grow up better, work better and live better. People's yearning for a good and beautiful life is the goal for us to strive for.

Every bit of happiness in the world has to be created by diligent work and labour. Our responsibility is to rally and lead the whole party and all of China's ethnic groups and continue to emancipate our way of thinking, insist on reform and opening up, further unleash and develop social productive forces, work hard to resolve the difficulties faced by the masses in both production and life, and steadfastly take the road of common prosperity.

This is a major responsibility towards the party. Our party is a political party that serves the people wholeheartedly. The party has led the people in scoring accomplishments that capture the attention of the world. We have every reason to be proud. However, we are proud but not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels.

In the new situation, our party faces many severe challenges, and there are many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved, especially problems such as corruption and bribe-taking by some party members and cadres, being out of touch with the people, placing undue emphasis on formality and bureaucracy must be addressed with great effort.

The whole party must be vigilant.

The metal itself must be hard to be turned into iron. Our responsibility is to work with all comrades in the party to be resolute in ensuring that the party supervises its own conduct; enforces strict discipline; effectively deals with the prominent issues within the party; earnestly improves the party's work style and maintains close ties with the people. So that our party will always be the firm leadership core for advancing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

It is the people who create history. The masses are the real heroes. Our strength comes from the people and masses. We deeply understand that the capability of any individual is limited, but as long as we unite as one, there is no difficulty that we cannot overcome. Individuals have limited time in work, but there is no limit in serving the people wholeheartedly.

Our responsibility is weightier than Mount Tai, and our journey ahead is long and arduous. We must always be of one heart and mind with the people; share weal and woe with the people; make concerted and hard effort with the people; attend to our duties day and night with diligence; and strive to deliver a satisfactory answer sheet to history and the people.

Friends from the press, China needs to learn more about the world, and the world also needs to learn more about China. I hope you will continue to make more efforts and contributions to deepening the mutual understanding between China and the countries of the world.