Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for the unswerving implementation of reforms on Beijing’s terms but offered no new specific measures in a closely watched speech marking 40 years of market liberalization, Reuters reports.
In remarks lasting nearly an hour-and-a-half, Xi called for support for the state economy and development of the private sector, and said China will expand efforts at opening up and ensure the implementation of major reforms.
“We must, unswervingly, reinforce the development of the state economy while, unswervingly, encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-state economy,” he was quoted as saying in a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi was speaking on the day China has marked as the 40th anniversary of the start of late leader Deng Xiaoping’s campaign of “reform and opening up,” which led to explosive industrial growth that made China’s economy the world’s second-largest.
Xi reaffirmed the ruling Communist Party’s leadership in all aspects of society and said reforms should be in line with the overall goal of improving the socialist system with Chinese characteristics.
“Opening brings progress while closure leads to backwardness,” the Chinese president said.
“Every step of reform and opening up is not easy. In future, we will be inevitably faced with all sorts of risks and challenges, and even unimaginable tempestuous storms,” said Xi, stressing the role of the Communist Party.
Xi said China has to make its own decisions.
“There is no text book that can provide a golden rule, and there is no instructor who can boss around the Chinese people,” he said.
In his speech, Xi enumerated the accomplishments of China’s development since it moved away from a planned economy, when basic goods were rationed and often scarce.
“Grain coupons, cloth coupons, meat coupons, fish coupons, oil coupons, tofu coupons, food ticket books, product coupons and other documents people once could not be without have now been consigned to the museum of history,” he said.
“The torments of hunger, lack of food and clothing, and the hardships which have plagued our people for thousands of years have generally gone and won’t come back.”
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