President sums up country’s success over past 40 years, charts major tasks in future at key gathering
President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China’s commitment to opening-up even more to the world at a grand gathering on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening-up.
“The practice of reform and opening-up over the past 40 years has shown that openness brings progress, while seclusion leads to backwardness,” Xi said.
The president pledged to support the building of an open, transparent, inclusive and nondiscriminatory multilateral trading system, facilitate trade and investment, and promote more openness amid ongoing economic globalization.
The high-profile conference was attended by Xi and the six other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, as well as Vice-President Wang Qishan. Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting.
Over the past 40 years, China has recorded an average annual GDP growth rate of around 9.5 percent. This contributed over 30 percent to global economic growth and lifted more than 740 million people out of poverty, Xi said, calling the four decades “a glorious process”.
The country will focus on jointly building the Belt and Road with other nations and establish a new platform for international cooperation while continuing opening-up measures, Xi said.
China will never seek self-development at the cost of other countries’ interests, nor will it give up its justified interests, Xi said, adding that China’s development will pose no threat to any other nation, and it will never seek hegemony no matter how developed it becomes.
China’s development provides successful experience and offers bright prospects for other developing countries as they strive for modernization, and it represents China’s great contribution to the progress of human civilization, Xi said.
During the conference, Xi stressed the Party’s leadership over all work while calling for constantly enhancing and improving Party leadership.
Reform and opening-up show that Party leadership is the most essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the greatest strength of this system, Xi said.
“It is by upholding the centralized, unified leadership of the Party that we have been able to achieve the historic transformation, usher in a new era of reform and opening-up, and embark on a new journey of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” he said.
All Party members and people must maintain a high degree of awareness in terms of thinking, political orientation and actions in ensuring leadership by the Party — a fundamental principle that bears on the future of the Party and the country, Xi said.
In his speech, the president pledged to uphold a people-centered philosophy and to seek happiness for the people while striving for national rejuvenation.
“The aspirations of the people to live a better life must always be the focus of our efforts on the path of moving ahead,” Xi said.
Xi stressed the guiding position of Marxism and pledged to continue theoretical innovation based on actions. It’s the CPC’s historical responsibility to develop Marxism in China today, Xi said.
He stressed the need to stay on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Over the past 40 years, the theme of the Party’s theories and practices has been to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi said.
Xi reaffirmed the commitment to strengthening State-owned businesses while also encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of private business.
Xi highlighted the importance of clean governance, saying that all corrupt officials must be cleared away to ensure a clean political ecology to push forward reform and opening-up.
“We have firm political resolution and great capability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and not even a slice of the homeland’s sacred territory can be split,” Xi added.
Also at the gathering, 100 Chinese were awarded the medals of reform pioneers and 10 foreigners were honored with China reform friendship medals.