We have initiated a new stage in strengthening and revitalizing the armed forces. With a view to realizing the Chinese Dream and the dream of building a powerful military, we have developed a strategy for the military under new circumstances, and have made every effort to modernize national defense and the armed forces. We convened the Gutian military political work meeting to revive and pass on the proud traditions and fine conduct of our Party and our armed forces, and have seen a strong improvement in the political ecosystem of the people's forces.
Historic breakthroughs have been made in reforming national defense and the armed forces: a new military structure has been established with the Central Military Commission exercising overall leadership, the theater commands responsible for military operations, and the services focusing on developing capabilities. This represents a revolutionary restructuring of the organization and the services of the people's armed forces. We have strengthened military training and war preparedness, and undertaken major missions related to the protectionof maritime rights, countering terrorism, maintaining stability, disaster rescue and relief, international peacekeeping, escort services in the Gulf of Aden, and humanitarian assistance. We have stepped up weapons and equipment development, and made major progress in enhancing military preparedness. The people's armed forces have taken solid strides on the path of building a powerful military with Chinese characteristics.
We have made fresh progress in work related to Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. We have fully and faithfully implemented the principle of "one country, two systems," and ensured that the central government exercises its overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao as mandated by China's Constitution and the basic laws of the two special administrative regions. We have thus boosted exchanges and cooperation between the mainland and the two regions and maintained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao. We have upheld the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, promoted the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, strengthened cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation, and held a historic meeting between the leaders of the two sides. We have responded as appropriate to the political developments in Taiwan, resolutely opposed and deterred separatist elements advocating "Taiwan independence," and vigorously safeguarded peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.
We have made further progress in China's diplomacy on all fronts. We have made all-round efforts in the pursuit of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, thus advancing China's diplomatic agenda in a comprehensive, multilevel, multifaceted way and creating a favorable external environment for China's development. We have jointly pursued the Belt and Road Initiative, initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, set up the Silk Road Fund, and hosted the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, the G20 2016 Summit in Hangzhou, the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, and the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. China champions the development of a community with a shared future for mankind, and has encouraged the evolution of the global governance system. With this we have seen a further rise in China's international influence, ability to inspire, and power to shape; and China has made great new contributions to global peace and development.
We have achieved remarkable outcomes in ensuring full and strict governance over the Party. We have made sweeping efforts to strengthen Party leadership and Party building, and taken strong action to transform lax and weak governance over the Party. We encourage all Party members to hold the Party Constitution in great esteem. We urge them to strengthen their consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment, and to uphold the authority of the Central Committee and its centralized, unified leadership. We have tightened political discipline and rules to ensure that political responsibility for governance over the Party is fulfilled at each level of the Party organization.
We have committed to "examining ourselves in the mirror, tidying our attire, taking a bath, and treating our ailments," launched activities to see members command and act on the Party's mass line, and initiated a campaign for the observance of the Three Stricts and Three Earnests. We have regularized and institutionalized the requirement for all Party members to have a solid understanding of the Party Constitution, Party regulations, and related major policy addresses and to meet Party standards. As a result, the ideals and convictions of all Party members have been strengthened and their sense of Party consciousness has deepened. We have adopted standards fitting for a new era to assess the caliber of officials, and achieved a notable improvement in the way officials are selected and appointed. Further advances have been made in the reform of the institutional framework for Party building, and continuous improvements have been made to the system of Party regulations.
We have given top priority to ensuring compliance with Party discipline, and tackled the prominent problems that prompt the strongest public reaction and that threaten to erode the very foundation of the Party's governance. We adopted the eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct, have taken tough action against the practice of formalities for formalities' sake, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance, and have staunchly opposed privilege seeking. Disciplinary inspections have cut like a blade through corruption and misconduct; they have covered every Party committee in all departments at the central and provincial levels. No place has been out of bounds, no ground left unturned, and no tolerance shown in the fight against corruption. We have taken firm action to "take out tigers," "swat flies," and "hunt down foxes." The goal of creating a deterrent against corruption has been initially attained; the cage of institutions that prevents corruption has been strengthened; and moraldefenses against corruption are in the making. The anti-corruption campaign has built into a crushing tide, and is being consolidated and developed.
The achievements of the past five years have touched every area and broken new ground; the changes in China over the past five years have been profound and fundamental. For five years, our Party has demonstrated tremendous political courage and a powerful sense of mission as it has developed new ideas, new thinking, and new strategies, adopted a raft of major principles and policies, launched a host of major initiatives, and pushed ahead with many major tasks. We have solved many tough problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, and accomplished many things that were wanted but never got done. With this, we have prompted historic shifts in the cause of the Party and the country. These historic changes will have a powerful and far-reaching effect on the development of this cause.
Over the past five years, we have acted with courage to confront major risks and tests facing the Party and to address prominent problems within the Party itself. With firm resolve, we have tightened discipline and improved Party conduct, fought corruption and punished wrongdoing, and removed serious potential dangers in the Party and the country. As a result, both the intraparty political atmosphere and the political ecosystem of the Party have improved markedly. The Party's ability to innovate, power to unite, and energy to fight have all been significantly strengthened; Party solidarity and unity have been reinforced, and our engagement with the people has been greatly improved. Revolutionary tempering has made our Party stronger and it now radiates with great vitality. With this, efforts to develop the cause of the Party and the country have gained a strong political underpinning.
But we must be very clear: There are still many inadequacies in our work and many difficulties and challenges to face. The main ones are as follows.Some acute problems caused by unbalanced and inadequate development await solutions; and the quality and effect of development are not what they should be. China's ability to innovate needs to be stronger, the real economy awaits improvement, and we have a long way to go in protecting the environment.
In work on public wellbeing there are still many areas where we fall short; and poverty alleviation remains a formidable task. There are still large disparities in development between rural and urban areas, between regions, and in income distribution; and our people face many difficulties in employment, education, healthcare, housing, and elderly care.
The level of civic-mindedness needs further improvement. Social tensions and problems are intertwined, much remains to be done in seeing the country's governance is based in law, and China's system and capacity for governance need to be further strengthened. Ideological struggle is still complicated, and in national security we face new developments. Some reform plans and major policies and measures need to be better implemented. Many dimensions of Party building remain weak. These are all problems that demand our full attention to resolve.
The achievements of the past five years are the result of the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee, and, more importantly, the result of all Party members and all the Chinese people pulling together in their pursuit. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, I express our heartfelt thanks to the people of all ethnic groups, to all other political parties, to people's organizations, and patriotic figures from all sectors of society, to our fellow countrymen and women in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan, to overseas Chinese, and to all our friends from around the world who have shown understanding and support for China's modernization.