17 Mar 2013

New Chinese president calls for 'renaissance'

9:46 pm on 17 March 2013

The new Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has said he will fight for "the great renaissance of the Chinese nation," in his first speech as head of state.

He was speaking at China's annual meeting of the National People's Congress.

His first speech as president follows a once-in-a-decade leadership transition in China.

President Xi stressed that sustainable economic growth would remain the ruling Communist party's top priority.

The BBC reports he also addressed the growing inequality gap and spoke about the need to tackle corruption.

President Xi issued a warning to the country's military, saying it should improve its ability to "win battles and ... firmly protect national sovereignty and security".

On foreign policy, Mr Li stressed the importance of further developing relations with the US, despite remaining differences on a number of issues.

But Mr Li said that US-Chinese "common interests far outweigh our differences".

And he described as "groundless" US accusations that China was behind recent cyber attacks on American government agencies and companies.