CGTN: New journey of the new era: China charts course for modernization

BEIJING, Dec. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — For more than a century, China has tirelessly pursued modernization — from “Revitalize China” to the “four modernizations” goal launched after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, referring to agriculture, industry, defense and science.

Now modernization is no longer simply a dream for the Chinese people. In 2022, China’s leadership unveiled its blueprint for building a modern socialist China in all respects featuring a unique Chinese path.

“An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, sounding a clarion call of the times for us forging ahead on a new journey,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his New Year address on Saturday.

Toward Chinese modernization

In October, Chinese modernization, a key term defining China’s journey to rejuvenation, was for the first time written into a report to the National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Chinese modernization has elements that are universal to all modernization processes but is characterized by features that are unique to the Chinese context.

President Xi has underscored the unique features of Chinese modernization: the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development.

China is working to achieve modernization for more than 1.4 billion people, a number larger than the combined population of all developed countries in the world today.

With the steady growth of its own economy, China champions common prosperity to ensure that everyone receives a fair share of its economic success and to reduce inequality. According to the Blue Book of Common Prosperity, China’s index of common prosperity increased by 79.3 percent from 24.67 in 2013 to 44.23 in 2020.

While continuing to consolidate the material foundation for modernization and improve the material conditions for people’s well-being, China is striving to develop advanced socialist culture, foster strong ideals and convictions, and carry forward China’s cultural heritage. China now has 43 items on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the highest number in the world.

Guided by the new development philosophy featuring innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, China in 2022 continued to be a leading growth engine for the world economy. The International Monetary Fund forecast that China’s economy would grow at 3.2 percent in 2022, aligning with the global projected pace.

As the Chinese leadership has pledged many times, the country has stayed committed to peaceful development. The Global Security Initiative launched in April is one example. It has already gained appreciation and support from over 70 countries.

With solid steps

The CPC aims to realize socialist modernization from 2020 through 2035, and build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful from 2035 through the middle of this century.

The path to achieving the goals is already taking shape. With its people-centered philosophy of development, the country has built the world’s largest education, social security and healthcare systems.

Xi has called innovation the heart of China’s modernization drive. China’s pursuit of independence in scientific innovation is reflected in its various achievements, including the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, space exploration including lunar and Mars probes and the construction of China’s own space station, and the deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe. The country has also developed its own high-speed railway technologies, 5G communication technologies and artificial intelligence.

In the Global Innovation Index 2022 provided by the World Intellectual Property Organization, a UN specialized agency, China’s rank has risen to 11th among the 132 economies surveyed.

Guided by Xi’s vision of “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets,” China’s modernization drive also emphasizes harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature. The country has cut its carbon emission intensity by 34.4 percent over the past 10 years, and pledged to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

Moreover, China reiterates that it will advance a broader agenda of opening up across more areas and with greater depth, follow the Chinese path to modernization, and share the nation’s development opportunities with the world. In the first 11 months of 2022, China’s trade in goods expanded 8.6 percent year on year to 38.34 trillion yuan ($5.5 trillion), according to the General Administration of Customs.

CGTN: Xi Jinping salutes ordinary people’s extraordinary efforts in New Year Address

BEIJING, Dec. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — From medical professionals to delivery men and women, from community workers to next-door neighbors, ordinary Chinese people are doing their best and lending a hand to help others cope with the latest waves of COVID-19 infections in the country.

With extraordinary efforts, China has prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges in fighting the pandemic, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday while delivering his 2023 New Year Address.

Officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, have bravely stuck to their posts through it all, Xi said.

“It has not been an easy journey for anyone,” he said, calling for an extra effort from the people to pull through.

People first, life first

In 2022, China continued to optimize its COVID response in light of the evolving situation. Based on the mutation of the virus, the popularization of vaccination and the accumulation of experience in prevention and control, the National Health Commission said in December that the country’s epidemic prevention and control has entered a new stage.

Shifting from infection prevention to medical treatment, China has rolled out a host of measures to boost access to medical treatment and drugs, improve health services for the elderly and other vulnerable groups, speed up vaccination, and beef up health infrastructure in rural areas.

Seventy percent of those aged over 60 had received a booster dose of vaccines as of December 13, up from less than 53 percent among the age group of the population by March 24, according to data from the State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism Against COVID-19.

In addition, the relaxation of the response policy in 2022 comes after China has effectively responded to five global COVID waves and avoided widespread infections with the original strain and the Delta variant, which are relatively more pathogenic than the other variants.

“Since COVID-19 struck, we have put the people first and put life first all along,” Xi said during his New Year Address.

“Following a science-based and targeted approach, we have adapted our COVID response in light of the evolving situation to protect the life and health of the people to the greatest extent possible,” he added.

China has kept its severe COVID-19 cases and death rates among the lowest in the world. The average life expectancy of the Chinese has continued to rise amid the pandemic, from 77.93 years in 2020 to 78.2 years in 2021.

Light right in front

Starting January 8, China will downgrade management of the disease from Class A to Class B in accordance with the country’s law on prevention and treatment of infectious disease, in a major shift of its epidemic response policies. The country will also scrap quarantine measures for inbound travelers from the day.

Following the announcement of the latest adjustments, searches and bookings for international flights and hotels rocketed on multiple Chinese online travel agencies, with some numbers hitting three-year highs, indicating that normal life is picking up.

Another sign that experts believe bodes the revival of the country’s consumption market in 2023, restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas nationwide have reopened and reported burgeoning visits.

“Everyone is holding on with great fortitude, and the light of hope is right in front of us,” Xi said during Saturday’s address to ring in the new year.

“Let’s make an extra effort to pull through, as perseverance and solidarity mean victory.”

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CGTN: China will continue to contribute to global peace and development in connected world

BEIJING, Dec. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Noting China is a country closely linked with the world, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that he has not only hosted old and new friends in Beijing, but also traveled abroad to communicate China’s propositions to the world over the past year in his 2023 New Year address on Saturday.

The past year has witnessed a friends-gathering Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Spring, bilateral meetings between Xi and foreign leaders of more than 40 countries, and three overseas trips made by Xi before and after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October.

Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, became the first foreign leader to visit China since the conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress. Since then, Xi has held dozens of bilateral meetings with foreign leaders including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was the first leader of a major Western country to visit China after the milestone CPC meeting.

The visits were widely acknowledged to create peaks for head-of-state diplomacy in 2022.

In the past year, China has continued to play its role as a responsible major country in the international arena by enhancing relations with other major countries.

From two phone calls to a face-to-face meeting in Bali between Xi and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, both leaders agreed to take concrete actions to put China-U.S. relations back on track with steady development.

Besides two personal meetings in Beijing in February and in Samarkand in September, the virtual meeting between Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin yesterday showed both countries will continue to strengthen strategic coordination and uphold international justice.

With Xi’s attendance at the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, China-Arab states relations also ushered in a new era of all-round and in-depth development.

In the past year, China has also continued to offer its solutions with Chinese wisdom to tackle common challenges confronting the international community.

Xi proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI) at the Boao Forum for Asia in April 2022 to work with other countries to promote security for all, after putting forward the Global Development Index (GDI) at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2021.

To date, more than 70 countries have expressed support for the GSI, and more than 100 countries and a number of international organizations, including the UN, have committed support to the GDI and nearly 70 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI.

Noting that changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace and the world is not yet a tranquil place, Xi said in the New Year address that China cherishes peace and development and values friends and partners as always.

“We stand firm on the right side of history and on the side of human civilization and progress. We work hard to contribute China’s wisdom and solutions to the cause of peace and development for all humanity,” he said.

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Eastern Sudan tribal leader calls for talks on self-determination

The head of the Supreme Council for Beja tribal chiefdoms, Mohamed al-Amin Terik, threatened to declare war in eastern Sudan if the Sudanese authorities refused to grant the region a separate negotiating platform for self-determination.

Terik who rejects the Juba peace agreement supported the military coup of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and ended by rallying two Darfur groups that stand against the framework agreement when the military component struck a political agreement with the pro-democracy and anti-coup political forces.

Also, the tribal leader appeared with the Islamists and groups that allied with the former regime of Omer al-Bashir under the Initiative of Sudan’s People, sending a confusing message about the nature of his claims.

In a speech delivered before his supporters in the Mweta area of Kassala state near the Eritrean border on Sunday, January 1, the Hadandawa tribal leader called for a separate process to negotiate self-determination for eastern Sudan.

“We demand a separate negotiating platform if the government positively responds to (our demand) we are with the unity and strength of Sudan., But if it refuses, we will inevitably declare war, and we will withstand as our former fighters did,” he said.

During his speech, Terik raised, one after another, several unexploded cannon shells and heavy weapons ammunition the army dropped in the Mweta area during the war against the former rebel East Front before the signing of a peace agreement in 2006.

“We will return to the air and artillery bombardment, and I salute the people of these border areas who stood firm during the years of war,” he said.

He declared their categorical refusal to participate in a workshop on eastern Sudan’s plight, which the signatories of the political framework agreement intend to hold in the coming days to set out plans to settle the crisis.

In addition, Terik spoke about preparations underway he undertook to forge a new alliance gathering groups from the greater central Sudan including northern, eastern and central Sudan as well as Kordofan region to achieve autonomy.

“Deluded are those who think that they could rule us from Khartoum,” he further stressed.

In response to calls to control power in Sudan by Darfurian components, several former Sudanese army officers from the greater Central Sudan announced the formation of armed groups to defend their regions.

Terik went further to reiterate his rejection of the framework agreement and described it as a “foreign agreement”, calling to hold a round table conference with the participation of all the people of Sudan.

The call for an inclusive round table conference is the main demand of the Initiative of Sudan’s People which holds regular rallies outside the UNITAMS premises in Khartoum calling to end foreign intervention in Sudan.

In November 2022, Abdallah Obshar, former rapporteur of the Supreme Council of Beja chiefdoms and head of a dissident group reiterated their demand for self-determination for eastern Sudan saying it was one of the demands of the Sinkat Conference held in October 2020.

Source: Sudan Tribune

UNICEF appeals for US$2.6 billion to meet increasing children’s needs in the Middle East and North Africa [EN/AR]

AMMAN, 13 December 2022- As part of a record global appeal, UNICEF is appealing for US$2.6 billion in emergency funding to deliver lifesaving assistance to over 52.7 million children in need in the Middle East and North Africa in 2023.

“With almost half of the countries in the region living in crisis or undergoing ripple effects of conflicts and wars, children remain the most affected and in massive need of assistance,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa. “Year after year, a dire situation gets much worse with many families becoming poorer as they face the impacts of multiple crises,” she added.

The region is home to some of the world’s longest conflicts. Almost 12 years of war in Syria left more than 6.5 million children dependent on assistance. Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with almost every child in the country dependent on assistance. The compounded crisis in Lebanon, and the instability in Sudan resulted in millions of additional children living in critical conditions.

“If secured, these urgent funds will allow UNICEF to reach children impacted by conflict and humanitarian crises in a timely and relevant manner. UNICEF appreciates all donors who have been essential in making the response to children’s needs in the Middle East and North Africa possible. Timely, predictable and flexible funding are essential to contribute to the wellbeing and welfare of children in the region,” concluded Khodr.

Over the years, UNICEF has been strategic in its approach to responding to conflicts and crises in the region, focusing on not only providing immediate humanitarian assistance but also on strengthening systems, creating risk-informed programmes, and planning and preparing for emergencies.

UNICEF has been conscious of how crucial it is to include local communities and be accountable to the affected populations, collaborating with regional partners to empower young girls and boys and promote their engagement in humanitarian planning. Efforts were also focused on developing partnerships and mobilizing essential resources to ensure long-term progress and impact.

In 2022, UNICEF continued to respond to needs of children and their families across the region.

Key Highlights of UNICEF’s response in 2022 across the region:

Supported around 2.8 million children to get formal and non-formal education and provided 1.2 million children with individual learning materials.

Reached more than 338 thousand children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with treatment.

Reached around 13.1 million people with critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies and access to safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.

Reached around 1.4 million households with humanitarian cash assistance.

Bought and distributed around 4.9 million doses of routine vaccines against measles, tetanus, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis B and rotavirus.

Reached more than 780 thousand children and caregivers with mental health and psychosocial support services.

Notes to editors:

The Regional Humanitarian Action for Children Fast Facts can be found here

The Humanitarian Action for Children 2023 and separate appeals for countries can be found here.

The Humanitarian Action for Children appeal for 2023 includes Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the State of Palestine, Sudan, Syria and the Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, and Yemen. In addition to a regional appeal and technical support from the Regional Office in Amman to countries that don’t have a standalone HAC appeal. In total, the appeal constitutes to 25 per cent of UNICEF’s financial ask globally.

This appeal does not include the response to the Afghan refugee crisis in Iran, which is included in the regional appeal of our office in South Asia. Iran hosts nearly 3.6 million Afghans, including more than 1 million who have arrived since 2021. Children make up about 40 per cent of the new arrivals.

While Türkiye is not part of the MENA region, the appeal includes the Syrian refugees’ response in the country.

In December 2021, UNICEF appealed for US$ 2.3 billion to respond to children’s needs for 2022. The appeal was revised to a total of US$ 2.4 billion, of which, only half of the funds were received.

Source: UN Children’s Fund

NDM urges government to provide adequate security to citizens

The Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) should provide adequate security to citizens, an opposition group said.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM), in a statement, questioned why several communities are fighting each other in the three regions of the country.

“In Bahr El Ghazal the insecurity has rekindled historical grievances among sections of the Dinka tribe in Warrap and Lakes state. In Equatoria, clashes between the local population and cattle owners from Jonglei state is a common occurrence,” the statement noted.

The opposition group highlighted the situation in Upper Nile, where a section of the Nuers from Jonglei State are fighting Chollo in Upper Nile State and armed youth from Jonglei State are fighting the Murle in the Pibor Administrative Area.

“Whereas in other areas, the fighting is low-key and follow a familiar pattern, in Upper Nile region it has many worrying dimensions. Of course, any loss of life cannot be tolerated,” partly stated NDM’s statement.

It added, “In Upper Nile region the proxy wars that were taking place between the SPLM-IG and SPLMIO since the onset of the implementation of R-ARCSS in 2018, have boiled over to uncontrollable dimensions”.

The group, led by Lam Akol Ajawin, described the rift among the different factions of the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) as a “violation” of the 2018 peace agreement.

“Although it was a violation of the agreement it was controllable as it did not spread far and wide beyond a number of garrisons. This time the proxy war has gone wild. First, the SPLM-IO split in August 2021 into two factions that fought each other from December 2021 to January 2022,” it observed.


Meanwhile, President Salva Kiir recognized security personnel, medical professionals and other front-line workers for their “diligent and relentless” efforts to serve the country, despite the challenges.

In his Christmas message released Saturday evening, the president said the festive season is a time of hope and joy, where “we draw inspiration from our Lord’s universal peace to humankind.”

“On this joyous occasion, on behalf of your government and that of my family, I would like to extend our warmest greetings and best wishes to South Sudanese citizens within the country, in the region and across the world,” he stressed.

The South Sudanese leader urged citizens to cherish the warmth of family and friends and reaffirm their commitment toward peaceful coexistence with their neighbors.

Source: Sudan Tribune