Chinese leaders Hu Jintao (C), Xi Jinping (5th R), Wu Bangguo (5th L), Wen Jiabao (4th R), Jia Qinglin (4th L), Li Keqiang (3rd R), Zhang Dejiang (3rd L), Yu Zhengsheng (2nd R), Liu Yunshan (2nd L), Wang Qishan (1st R) and Zhang Gaoli (1st L) attend a Spring Festival reception held by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council (Cabinet) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 8, 2013. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
Chinese leaders on Friday extended Lunar New Year greetings to Chinese people both at home and abroad ahead of the traditional Spring Festival, which falls on Sunday.
A festival gathering was held Friday morning at the Great Hall of People in central Beijing.
Top leaders, including President Hu Jintao and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping, as well as Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli, joined over 2,000 representatives in Beijing to celebrate the upcoming festival.
The gathering was presided over by Xi.
Xi extended greetings to Chinese from all walks of life, both in China and overseas, and expressed thanks to foreigners who have been involved in China's development.
"I wish you a joyful festival, good health and happiness for you and your families," Xi said.
Premier Wen gave a speech at the celebration.
He hailed the efforts of Chinese from all ethnic groups in conquering difficulties and making numerous achievements last year.
Targets for economic and social development have been met and prospects are brilliant for China, Wen said.
He also stressed vigorous measures to advance reform and opening up, enhance vitality for economic and social development and improve people's livelihoods in 2013.
He underlined efforts to ensure the sustainable and healthy development of the country's economy, as well as social harmony and stability.
Wen urged officials to improve their work styles, maintain close ties with the people and be frugal, especially during the holiday.
The CPC and state leaders shook hands and exchanged greetings with other participants.
The gathering was jointly held by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) shakes hands with a participant at a Spring Festival reception held by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council (Cabinet) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 8, 2013. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)