Chinese President called on members of all political parties, social organizations and ethnic groups to make concerted efforts to help China maintain steady economic growth in 2009.
Hu made the remarks when meeting leaders of non-communist parties, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and public figures without party affiliation on Thursday afternoon.
The meeting was presided by China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin. Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang also attended the meeting.
Hu first extended New Year greetings to all members of the United Front, a term used by the Communist Party of China (CPC) to describe its policy of uniting political forces representing people of all circles.
He also expressed gratitude for their contribution to China's economic development and social stability in 2008.
Hu said 2009 marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China, and was of crucial importance to the country's modernization.
The top priority of the country in 2009 was to stimulate economic growth, safeguard people's livelihoods, and maintain social stability, Hu said.
These tasks could not be done without the concerted efforts of members of all political parties, social organizations and ethnic groups in the country, he said.
He said maintaining steady economic growth amid the currently disadvantaged situations had posed a major challenge for the governance capacity of the CPC and for the non-communist parties' ability to participate in government and political affairs.
Members of the United Front should take advantage of their extensive resources to further contribute to the economic development of the country, he said.
Hu said year 2009 also marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party, and urged non-communist parties to adhere to the system in the coming years.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2009)