China

Chinese presidents: Speeches compared

  • 19 March 2013
  • From the section China

In his first speech as head of state, Xi Jinping appeared more eager than his predecessor to put his own stamp on China's future.

Mr Xi's speech at the closing session on Sunday of the National People's Congress (NPC), at which he was confirmed as president, lasted 25 minutes. It was twice as long as the speech given by his predecessor, Hu Jintao, on the same occasion 10 years ago.

Mr Xi used a new term - the "Chinese dream" - to lay out his vision of a stronger nation based on "the Chinese path", "the Chinese spirit" and "Chinese strength".

But apart from that the content of his speech was similar to that of Mr Hu, containing the same political themes and phrases common in Chinese political discourse.

Like his predecessor, Mr Xi stressed the importance of deepening reform but avoided any mention of political reform.

Above: Word cloud of Xi Jinping's speech at NPC closing session, 17 March 2013
Above: Word cloud of Hu Jintao's speech at NPC closing session, 18 March 2003

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