By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English
Xi Jinping was elected as top leader of both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Central Military Commission as the just-concluded 18th CPC National Congress unveiled a new leadership lineup consisting of seven standing members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
In an address at the end of the Party's once-in-five years’ Congress, Xi said he understood the people's desire for a better life but warned of an arduous journey ahead.
"Our party is dedicated to serving the people," he said after introducing the other six members of the standing committee at the Great Hall of the People in a ceremony carried live on television and the Internet.
"It has led the people in making world-renowned achievements, and we have every reason to take pride in these achievements," he added.
"But we are not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels. Under the new conditions, our party faces many severe challenges, and there are also many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved, particularly corruption, being divorced from the people, going through formalities and bureaucratism caused by some party officials."
Xi will be steering China for at least the next five years with his new team. The party could introduce experimental measures to broaden inner-party democracy -- in other words, encouraging greater debate within the party - but stability remains a top priority, for the simple reason that political paralysis in other countries and regions can just send the country plunging into quagmire and people into an abyss of suffering.
"We have taken on this important responsibility for the people. Our people are a great people. During the long course of history, the Chinese people have, working with diligence, bravery and wisdom, created a beautiful homeland where all ethnic groups live in harmony, and developed a great and dynamic culture," he said.
Many Chinese people, while hearing this, could not help but shed tears.
An IT industry employee surnamed Lin listened to the speech while driving for a luncheon. She said, tears in eyes, “people-first was a formula set by the retiring President Hu Jintao and his team, and the new leaders not only highlight this again, but also promise to shoulder it as a duty-bound responsibility to ensure the people a better-off life at such a defining juncture. I’m fully confident in the future of our country and in our new leadership.”
"Our people have an ardent love for life. They wish to have better education, more stable jobs, more income, greater social security, better medical and health care, improved housing conditions, and a better environment. They want their children to have sound growth, have good jobs and lead a more enjoyable life. To meet their desire for a happy life is our mission. It is only hard work that creates all happiness in the world," Xi stressed.
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping also proposed ways to fulfill the Party’s responsibility to the people. He said, in his debut speech, “we will rally and lead the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in making continued efforts to free up our minds, carry out reform and opening up, further release and develop the productive forces, work hard to resolve the difficulties the people face in both work and life, and unwaveringly pursue common prosperity.”
Hopefully, led by the new leadership, China and the Chinese people will meet a more splendid horizon ahead.