He wished Chinese people of all ethnic groups a better life and the country greater prosperity in the new year.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a three-day inspection tour of southwest China's Yunnan Province which concluded Tuesday (Jan 21).
During a visit to Sanjia Village in the city of Tengchong on Sunday afternoon, Xi learned about poverty alleviation efforts and called for efforts to speed up the development of ethnic minorities and areas with large ethnic minority populations.
After joining local villagers in making rice cakes, a traditional local festival food, Xi noted that shaking off poverty is the new starting point, calling for vigorously promoting rural vitalization after China completes the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
According to local custom, Xi beat a wooden drum of the Wa ethnic group three times to bless the coming year.
Later that day, Xi went to the old town of Heshun, a gateway on the ancient Southern Silk Road, where he visited a village-level library built over 90 years ago.
Visiting the memorial hall of Ai Siqi, a renowned philosopher, Xi said the country needs a large number of talented individuals who can explain the adaptation of Marxism to the Chinese context well and who can use easy-to-understand language to spread the Party's new theories to more ordinary households.
Visiting an ecological wetland of Dianchi Lake in Kunming on Monday, Xi stressed resisting the old way of developing the economy at the cost of the environment.
Dianchi Lake, once among the most polluted lakes in China, has seen its ecology greatly improved after years of conservation efforts.
Inspecting market supply for Chinese New Year at the Kunming International Convention and Exhibition Center, Xi demanded a sufficient supply of safe and reliable goods during the festival.
There, Xi extended Chinese New Year greetings to local residents, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and overseas Chinese nationals.
Xi then went to the former site of the National Southwest Associated University in Kunming. He stressed the close link between education and the fate and future of the country and noted that the goal of China's education system is to nurture a new generation of capable young people who are well-prepared to join the socialist cause.
After hearing the work reports of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee and the provincial government on Tuesday morning, Xi encouraged Yunnan to break new ground in promoting ethnic unity and progress, pushing forward ecological conservation, and pursuing greater cooperation with South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Xi urged efforts to promote high-quality development, accelerate building a modernized economy, consolidate the achievements in poverty alleviation, boost the healthy and sustainable development of tourism, while continuing to fight air, water and soil pollution.
He also required further opening-up to neighbouring countries, speeding up the building of connectivity networks and strengthening cultural and people-to-people exchanges. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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