BEIJING, Dec. 31- Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored the need to continue efforts to advance reform and rule of law in 2015 in his New Year speech on Wednesday, comparing them to "a bird's two wings".
The president told domestic and overseas audiences that the past year was "unforgettable". His address was transmitted via state broadcasters.
"In 2014, we pressed ahead with reform, cracked many hard nuts and introduced a slew of important reform measures, which were closely related to the interests of our citizens.
"We adapted to the new normal of economic growth; actively promoted economic and social development; and further improved the people's lives," he said.
Xi said cadres at all levels had "given it their best shot", a popular phrase used by Chinese Internet users. "Of course, without the support of the people, we could not have achieved anything. I must give our great people a thumb-up."
In 2015, China will continue to comprehensively deepen reform, from which "there is no turning back", he said.
China will also continue to advance the rule of law to safeguard the people's rights and interests, guarantee social justice and promote national development, Xi added.
Reform and rule of law must be advanced at the same time to achieve an "all-round well-off society" by 2020 as scheduled, he said.