Xi Jinping describes 'Chinese dream' at closing of National People's Congress


Former Chinese president Hu Jintao, newly-elected Chinese President Xi Jinping and former premier Wen Jiabao sing the national anthem at the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 17, 2013. Xi said he would fight for a 'great renaissance of the Chinese nation', in his first speech as head of state of the world's most populous country.


Goh Chai Hin

New Chinese leaders President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang described a smaller and less spendthrift Chinese government in closing remarks at the National People's Congress on Sunday, setting expectations for their new regime.

"We must make persistent efforts, press ahead with indomitable will, continue to push forward the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and strive to achieve the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," Xi said in a keynote speech at the closing of the Congress, reported CNN, who added that Xi paid homage to his predecessor, Hu Jintao.

Read more from GlobalPost: China unveils sweeping government shakeup plan

"The central government will lead by example and lower levels will follow suit," added Li to reporters at the Congress, said the Los Angeles Times, which added that a ban on increasingly lavish new government buildings was one of the few concrete reforms to emerge from the 12 day long session of Congress.

The 57-year-old Li's first-ever press conference focused largely on a new focus on Chinese government austerity, according to a Xinhua account of the event.

He described efforts to streamline and decentralize the Chinese government in dramatic terms, referring to it as a "self-imposed revolution," which would demand the leaders to possess the conviction to "chop off one's own arms," according to Xinhua.

"This is a worldwide problem and in fact China itself a main target. We are opposed to such activities," said Li, according to CNN.

"I think we should not make groundless accusations against each other and spend more time doing practical things that contribute to cyber security."

The Chinese government has promised a large-scale restructuring of the government in the near future, in an effort to create a smaller, cheaper, and more efficient version of the huge bureaucracy that has garnered so many complaints from average citizens in recent years.

The government also plans to impose more pro-environment measures after continuing public outcry over poor air quality and food safety issues, experts have said.