BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday delivered a New Year speech in Beijing to ring in 2020, pledging to achieve the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects in the “milestone” year. Xi pledged to lift all rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty and eliminate poverty in all poor counties. “The year of 2020 is crucial in winning the antipoverty battle,” Xi said. “The clarion has sounded. We must work together and work hard… to secure a victory in the battle against poverty.” Xi also extended best wishes to Hong Kong and Hong Kong compatriots. “The situation in Hong Kong has been everybody’s concern over the past few months,” said Xi. “Without a harmonious and stable environment, how can there be a home where people can live and work happily!” Xi said. “We sincerely hope for the best for Hong Kong and Hong Kong compatriots.” A prosperous and stable Hong Kong is the aspiration of Hong Kong compatriots, as well as the expectation of the people of the motherland, he said. Noting that there are both peaceful and eventful times in history, Xi said that “we are not afraid of winds and rains, or any kind of difficulties.” He said China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, safeguard world peace and promote common development. “We stand ready to join hands with people around the world to actively build the Belt and Road, push for the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, and work tirelessly to create a better future for humanity,” Xi said.