Heaven won’t drop meat pies on us from the skies, only by fighting hard for our dreams can we make them come true.

Heaven won’t drop meat pies on us from the skies, only by fighting hard for our dreams can we make them come true. 天上不會掉餡餅,努力奮鬥才能夢想成真。— Chinese Communist Party Secretary and President Xi Jinping in his 2017 New Year’s message. Maybe juvenile of me, but this interesting expression really stuck in my mind as I listened.

Of course one can also translate this as “God helps those who help themselves”  although here using the Chinese metaphor in the translation makes it feel fresher.  I noticed while correcting English compositions years when I taught English in Taiwan that sometimes when my students used Chinese expressions directly translated into English (assuming they were grammatical and made sense in context), their expressions seemed fresher than the cliche that we might have used in English.   I suppose the reverse is true as well since we mostly aren’t used to the cliches in foreign languages.

Of course Heaven and God can be considered different ideas.  God isn’t part of communist discourse except perhaps when the need arises to approve the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama!

President Xi also mentioned the brave sacrifices of UN peacekeepers killed in Africa, progress China has made this year such as the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Bank, progress on making it easier for peasants get legal status when they move to the city to work, progress in space, the victory of Chinese women’s volleyball at the Olympics and also a caution — “We are determined to pursue peaceful development, we will certainly protect our territory, sovereignty and maritime interests. No matter what some people may write on these issues, the Chinese people will accept no less. 我們堅持和平發展,堅決捍衛領土主權和海洋權益。誰要在這個問題上做文章,中國人民決不答應!

There was also the interesting expression 新故相推,日生不滯 maybe means something like “The old and the new strengthen one another, and new things are arising all the time”

President Xi’s New Year’s Greeting are on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSL1fbfGVT8   and of course featured in the Chinese national news broadcast for December 31 .

I was intrigued glancing at the Google News Chinese (Mainland) page — I got the impression that commentaries on the New Year’s remarks were much easier to find than the full text.  Articles such as “Respectfully Listening to President Xi’s New Year’s Message”  But the full text can still be found.  I get this and other top level speeches impression that speeches of the top leader gets layers of interpretation from the very start.

習近平發表2017年新年賀詞全文 2016-12-31 19:25

新年前夕,國家主席習近平發表2017年新年賀詞。全文如下:

2016年即將過去,新年的鐘聲即將敲響。在這辭舊迎新的美好時刻,我向全國各族人民,向香港特別行政區同胞、澳門特別行政區同胞,向台灣同胞和海外僑胞,向世界各國各地區的朋友們,致以新年的祝福!

2016年,對中國人民來說是非凡的一年,也是難忘的一年,「十三五」實現了開門紅。我們積極踐行新發展理念,加快全面建成小康社會進程,推動我國經濟增長繼續走在世界前列。我們積極推進全面深化改革,供給側結構性改革邁出重要步伐,國防和軍隊改革取得重大突破,各領域具有四梁八柱性質的改革主體框架已經基本確立。

我們積極推進全面依法治國,深化司法體制改革,全力促進司法公正、維護社會公平正義。我們積極推進全面從嚴治黨,堅定不移「打虎拍蠅」,繼續純凈政治生態,黨風、政風、社會風氣繼續好轉。

2016年,「中國天眼」落成啟用,「悟空號」已在軌運行一年,「墨子號」飛向太空,神舟十一號和天宮二號遨遊星漢,中國奧運健兒勇創佳績,中國女排時隔12年再次登上奧運會最高領獎台……還有,通過改革,農村轉移人口市民化更便利了,許多貧困地區孩子們上學條件改善了,老百姓異地辦理身份證不用來回奔波了,一些長期無戶口的人可以登記戶口了,很多群眾有了自己的家庭醫生,每條河流要有「河長」了……這一切,讓我們感到欣慰。

2016年,在美麗的西子湖畔,我們舉辦了二十國集團領導人第十一次峰會,向世界貢獻了中國智慧、中國方案,也向世界展示了美輪美奐的中國印象、中國風采。「一帶一路」建設快速推進,亞洲基礎設施投資銀行正式開張。我們堅持和平發展,堅決捍衛領土主權和海洋權益。誰要在這個問題上做文章,中國人民決不答應!

這一年,多地發生的自然災害和安全事故,給人民生命財產和生產生活造成嚴重損失,我們深感痛惜。中國維和部隊的幾名同志壯烈犧牲,為世界和平獻出了寶貴生命,我們懷念他們,要把他們的親人照顧好。

2016年,我們隆重慶祝了中國共產黨成立95周年、紀念了中國工農紅軍長征勝利80周年,我們要牢記為中國人民和中華民族作出貢獻的前輩們,不忘初心、繼續前進。

「新故相推,日生不滯」。即將到來的2017年,中國共產黨將召開第十九次全國代表大會,全面建成小康社會、全面深化改革、全面依法治國、全面從嚴治黨要繼續發力。天上不會掉餡餅,努力奮鬥才能夢想成真。

小康路上一個都不能掉隊!一年來,又有1000多萬貧困人口實現了脫貧,奮戰在脫貧攻堅一線的同志們辛苦了,我向同志們致敬。新年之際,我最牽掛的還是困難群眾,他們吃得怎麼樣、住得怎麼樣,能不能過好新年、過好春節。我也了解,部分群眾在就業、子女教育、就醫、住房等方面還面臨一些困難,不斷解決好這些問題是黨和政府義不容辭的責任。全黨全社會要繼續關心和幫助貧困人口和有困難的群眾,讓改革發展成果惠及更多群眾,讓人民生活更加幸福美滿。

上下同欲者勝。只要我們13億多人民和衷共濟,只要我們黨永遠同人民站在一起,大家擼起袖子加油幹,我們就一定能夠走好我們這一代人的長征路。

中國人歷來主張「世界大同,天下一家」。中國人民不僅希望自己過得好,也希望各國人民過得好。當前,戰亂和貧困依然困擾著部分國家和地區,疾病和災害也時時侵襲著眾多的人們。我真誠希望,國際社會攜起手來,秉持人類命運共同體的理念,把我們這個星球建設得更加和平、更加繁榮。

讓我們滿懷信心和期待,一起迎接新年的鐘聲!謝謝大家。
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