Medical workers celebrate the new year with a giant "2021" in South China's Jiangsu province on Jan 1. [Photo by Feng Jiangjiang/chinadaily.com.cn] The world has bid farewell to 2020, an extraordinary year in history that saw the COVID-19 pandemic bringing an unprecedented challenge to mankind as well as a fast-evolving international architecture. As 2021 comes, China is standing on a new historical starting point. In the last year, China wrote an epic in fighting COVID-19, fighting the epidemic with unity and perseverance, securing a great historic achievement for fully building a Xiaokang society and a decisive victory in poverty eradication, made big strides in sci-tech development and deepened reform and expanded opening-up. China is one of the most resilient economies amid the ravaging pandemic and global economic slump. The country was among the first to have put the virus under control, to have resumed work and production and to have realized economic stability and recovery, which not only made it the first major economy in the world to register positive growth in 2020 but also brought confidence and hope to others in the world. The year 2021 is crucial to China since it is the first year of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan, as the nation is set to achieve its first centenary goal within the set time frame -- complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarks on a journey toward the second, which is to fully build a modern socialist country. The new year will also mark a century since the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on July 1, 1921. As a gigantic vessel that navigates China's stable and long-term development with people's expectations and the hope of the nation, the CPC, always people-centered and staying true to its founding mission, has full confidence in breaking the waves in the pursuit of national rejuvenation. The year 2021 is bound to be unpredictable as questions continue to arise over the complex interplay between the COVID-19 pandemic, the asynchronous global economic recovery and the changing geopolitics. There is undoubtedly much to be done for China to address all kinds of difficulties and challenges within its borders, and in a global context, to deal with the ever-rising power politics, Cold-War mentality, unilateralism and protectionism. In pursuing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, China faces these inevitable difficulties and challenges squarely rather than skirt around them and is fully prepared. External interference, containment and oppression cannot stop the nation from realizing the Chinese Dream. The country will press ahead with the implementation of its new development philosophy highlighting the concepts of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, foster a new development paradigm of "dual circulation" and promote reform and opening-up at a higher starting point. What is past is prologue. When facing a common enemy threatening humanity, how nations around the world collaborate and what kind of interaction pattern they could form, will determine the height that the human species can top. People across the world should make joint efforts to drive away the dark clouds of the COVID-19 pandemic at an early date and build the planet Earth into a better home for all.