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China is ringing in the Year of the Ox, a new beginning of great significance for both the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China (CPC) that has led the whole nation to overcome many challenges, including COVID-19. The new year will also be defined by the "three cattle spirit."

The term first appeared in Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at a New Year's gathering late last December held in Beijing by the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. It was later repeated in his Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Wednesday.

As the second sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle of a rotating cast of 12 symbolic animals, the ox, known for its stamina and strength, usually signifies steadfastness, tenacity and dependability in traditional Chinese culture.

By using the "three cattle spirit," Xi has endowed the household cultural image with new connotations in the new era and set the tone for all CPC members to carry forward the spirit of serving the people as willing steers, blazing new trails in development as pioneering bulls and engaging in an arduous struggle as hardworking oxen.

It is an exhortation to over 91 million CPC members, and leading cadres in particular, to further enhance their service to the public, avoid following the beaten track, and fear no hardship or fatigue.

The year of the ruminant offers everyone a chance for rumination. In the face of complicated international and domestic situations born from the extraordinary year of 2020, China has made major strategic achievements in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, conquered serious floods and achieved positive economic growth.

Led by the CPC, the nation also accomplished the targets and tasks for winning the battle against poverty in the new era and those set for the 13th Five-Year Plan Period (2016-2020), and achieved continuous progress in scientific and technological projects and major engineering construction.

These hard-won, remarkable achievements could not be attained without the "three cattle spirit," which will play a more important role in the year 2021 as China strives to achieve rural vitalization, implement a new development paradigm and deepen reform and opening up.

The CPC's people-centered philosophy has been fully reflected in the quest to save every single life from newborns to centenarians in the fight against COVID-19, as well as the commitment to leaving no one behind in eradicating absolute poverty. It requires the Party to always have the well-being of the people at heart, addressing the most pressing issues and promoting social equity and justice.

If it had not been for the courageous, tenacious innovators and pioneers, China would never have achieved such amazing success during the past 40-plus years of reform and opening up. Now, more than ever, there is a pressing need for such a trailblazing spirit to further improve epidemic control measures and grassroots governance and achieve high-quality and sustainable development.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and empty talk will lead the country astray. Therefore, only hard work will lead to happiness, make dreams come true and rejuvenate the nation. Completing the arduous development goals and tasks along the new journey toward modernization requires a hardworking spirit. Yet it is equally important that people march in the same direction with their sleeves rolled up.

China's success hinges on the CPC. The CPC has grown into the world's largest Marxist ruling party that has been in power for over 70 years in the world's largest socialist country, with the extensive support of 1.4 billion Chinese people.

Armed with the "three cattle spirit," the Party, together with the Chinese people from all ethnic groups and all walks of life, will steer the country to a bullish Year of the Ox.

This page is provided in cooperation with People's Daily Online.
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