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Chinese leaders celebrate New Year

Jan. 25, 2009 at 8:49 AM

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- China's top leaders sent out celebratory greetings to citizens and foreign friends Sunday on the occasion of the lunar New Year, officials said.

About 4,000 people gathered in Beijing to mark the Spring Festival, which was attended by President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other top Chinese Communist Party officials, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Wen said 2008 was "an extraordinary year" for China, in which it fought severe winter, coped with the May 12 earthquake, hosted the Beijing Olympics, launched a manned spacecraft and dealt with the current international financial crisis.

The achievements, Wen said, "demonstrated that no difficulty could defeat the great Chinese people and the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics will be broadened," Xinhua reported.

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