Beijing: Stepping into his last year in office, Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday vowed that his country would stick to the ideology of socialism as it moves with "unbounded confidence" towards its goals of deepening economic reform and improving livelihoods.

Hu pledged to work towards accomplishing the tasks laid out for the year while adhering to the ruling Communist Party of China's (CPC) ideological line of "socialism with Chinese characteristics".

Hu, who took over as President of the country and General Secretary of the Party in 2003, is set to retire from office along with Premier Wen Jiabao by the end of this year as under the constitution of the party top leaders could hold their office only for two terms.

"To accomplish tasks of this year, we must strengthen confidence, tackle thorny problems and advance in a pioneering spirit," Hu told fellow party leaders celebrating the New Year.

China must stick to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, uphold the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics and adhere to them and "move toward established goals with unbounded confidence," Hu said.

The new leadership would be taking over early next year, after the 18th Party Congress scheduled to be held later this year. Hu is widely expected to be succeeded by Vice President Xi Jinping.

Hu, a firm loyalist of late Chinese leader Den Xiaoping, who overturned party founder Mao Zedong's rigid Marxian ideology, has called for efforts to tackle problems in economic and social development and overcome various risks and challenges within and outside the country.

Progress should be achieved in transforming the economic development pattern, deepening reform and opening-up and improving people's livelihoods, Hu said.

The other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang also attended the tea party held to celebrate the New Year.