While Chinese families are preparing for the upcoming Lunar New Year, President Xi Jinping made an inspection tour in the southwestern province of Yunnan, an ethnically diverse province long stricken by poverty.
The message of his first domestic tour in 2020 is clear: The nation is making a final push to complete the building of "xiaokang," or a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and not a single ethnic group, family or individual will be left behind.
During his tour, Xi traveled to Simola Wa Village, in the city of Tengchong, to learn about local poverty alleviation efforts, congratulating local villagers on shaking off poverty.
The move echoed his reply in April of last year to a letter from people of the Dulong, one of China's smallest ethnic groups, in Yunnan. Xi congratulated them on their collective rise out of poverty, encouraging them to create an even better future.
Dulong people have now all moved into newly built houses, and all of the six administrative villages have access to paved roads, 4G and radio and TV signals.
The list of ethnic minority groups shaking off absolute poverty will continue to grow. However, eliminating poverty is not the end of the story. Giving people of all ethnic groups the chance to have a good life is the goal of China's drive for a xiaokang society.
That is why Xi, during his tour, said it is necessary to comprehensively promote rural vitalization. He called for efforts to develop rural industries, improve the rural economy, increase incomes and improve people's wellbeing.
A moderately prosperous society in an all-around way requires innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development for high-quality growth.
Ecological protection is definitely included in the agenda. As part of his Yunnan tour, Xi went to the provincial capital of Kunming to inspect the protection of Dianchi Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Yunnan and once one of the most severely polluted lakes in China. Thanks to a relentless treatment over the past few years, the ecological environment has been greatly improved.
Building a well-off society also requires enhanced efforts of opening up. Yunnan, once a border province isolated by mountains and rivers, is standing at the frontline of the cooperation with South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. Benefiting from enhanced connectivity with neighboring countries, the province will better open up through the Belt and Road Initiative.
Xi's tour was far more than a trip. His instructions during the tour will serve as guidance for the central and local governments to complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and do more after the goal is achieved.
The building of a modernized economic system should be stepped up. Supply-side structural reform, the development of the real economy, the upgrading of the manufacturing industry, the overhaul of the tourism industry, infrastructure building, agricultural production, ecological protection, and opening up all need to be accelerated. Ethnic solidarity, the work of religious affairs and cracking down on cross-border crimes also bear great significance to the people's wellbeing.
The tasks at hand are daunting, but the government will complete them nevertheless, because establishing a xiaokang society by 2020 is a promise China is determined to keep, through real actions, with concrete results.
The Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 25, is the most important festival on the Chinese calendar. It is a time to wish for the future.
While extending Chinese New Year greetings, Xi wished Chinese people of all ethnic groups a better life and the country greater prosperity in the new year.
Completing the building of a moderately prosperous society is the shared aspiration of the country's 1.4 billion people, and they have every reason to believe better days are still to come.