China welcomes new year of 'Pig' with festivities

People across China welcomed the Year of the Pig on Tuesday. They took part in prayers and family feasts. According to reporters, tens of lakhs of people travelled to their villages and holiday destinations in the world's largest annual migration to rejoice the country's grandest festival.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his greetings on the eve of the festival, layed down concerns over the slowdown of China's economy and the trade war with the US. He said the world's second largest economy made steady progress and his government was carrying out necessary reforms to avert risks. He said that Chinese people had a hard but fulfilling year.

The Chinese economy remained steady while making progress, with new steps taken in reform and opening-up, he added. Xi said his government has actively pushed forward campaigns to defuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation and prevent and control pollution, with poverty alleviation projects achieving remarkable outcomes.  Defence and military reforms extended to a deeper level, major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics opened a new chapter and Communist Party governance further improved.

He added: "Chinese society has been stable, and the people have enjoyed a stronger sense of fulfilment, happiness and security."