From Xinhua News Agency, Feb. 14, 2024. Complete text:

Beijing – Streets across China and Chinatowns worldwide come alive this time each year with Chinese culture-inspired decorations and clusters of crimson lanterns. One cannot help but be immersed in the auspicious atmosphere of the Chinese New Year.

After the recognition of the Lunar New Year as a UN floating holiday last December, it has become more evident that China’s wisdom and peace-loving traditions hold greater appeal in a world characterized by continued uncertainty and turmoil.

This recognition underscores the global significance of China’s cultural heritage and recognizes the values of unity, harmony and resilience at the heart of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

According to the Chinese zodiac and tradition, this year is the Year of the Dragon, and the dragon symbolizes wisdom, courage and good luck. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said these qualities are needed by the world “to rise to today’s global challenges.”

Amidst global turmoil and uncertainty, the spirit of the Dragon calls upon nations to set aside differences and work together toward common goals. It challenges leaders to prioritize dialogue over discord, collaboration over conflict, and solidarity over division.

In his Lunar New Year greetings to the global Chinese community, Guterres commended China for its “unwavering support to the United Nations, to multilateralism and global progress.”

As China embraces its role on the world stage, it champions its progress and the common security, development, and prosperity of nations far and wide.

China’s commitment to openness and multilateralism and its dedication to building a community with a shared future for humanity have played an essential role in fostering global peace and prosperity, providing stability and optimism in an era of uncertainty and disorder.

Also known as the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year heralds a season of renewal and growth. Just as the earth awakens from its winter slumber, the spirit of the Chinese people awakens during this auspicious time.

As the world comes together to commemorate the Chinese New Year, it should also serve as a reminder of the universal themes that unite all – the triumph of light over darkness, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring power of hope.