Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Xi's Look Back at 2017

Xi Jinping gives his New Year's address with two red phones on his desk...
On New Year's Eve, Chinese President Xi Jinping read out an 11-minute televised message where he went over the country's achievements in 2017.

He praised the Chinese people's "great creative forces that have burst forth" (迸发出来的创造伟力 bèngfā chūlái de chuàngzào wěilì) and listed accomplishments, such as the high-speed rail, the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge mostly completed, military progress, and increased health insurance coverage.

This picture was spotted on the shelf behind him
Xi repeated his commitment of promising to lift all rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty by 2020, and said China would "resolutely uphold the authority and status of the United Nations", be a responsible global actor and keep its promise on climate change and actively move forward on the Belt and Road initiative.

Interestingly he also observed people have encountered frustrations and admitted the Party could do more, saying the government needed to deliver on education, employment, income, social security, healthcare, elderly care, housing and the environment.

But throughout the video broadcast, viewers were more interested in the pictures he had on the bookshelves behind him than what he was saying. What were the pictures of?

Three showed him posing with different groups in the military, three were of him visiting the poor, one was about the Belt and Road, one had him posing with young Hong Kong people to mark the 20th anniversary of its handover to China, and one showed him retaking the Party oath

This photo showing his love of football was not there...
Xinhua news agency said Xi's global vision is to chart out a more prosperous and peaceful future for humanity with the joint efforts of the Chinese people and people from other countries, and the photos behind him were meant to reinforce this message.

A friend of mine who covers sports in China noted in Xi's other New Year speeches in 2014, 2015 and 2016, there were football-related pictures on the bookshelves, but this time there were none.

However, I'm more interested in the two red phones on his desk...


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