Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country will deepen reforms as he vowed to safeguard its sovereignty and maritime interests in 2017, a year that will present fresh international and domestic challenges for the leaders in Beijing. In a New Year’s speech published Saturday by Xinhua, Xi said the outcome of reforms should benefit more people and he vowed to address difficulties in areas such as employment, education, health care and housing. He also said the country adheres to

peaceful development and resolutely safeguards its sovereignty and maritime interests. “Chinese people will not agree to whoever that wants to make trouble on this,” Xi said in the annual address, referring to the country’s sovereignty rights and maritime interests. China’s claims to territory in the South China Sea have been contested by other nations. FULL REPORT