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Xi Lays Out Broad Vision for the Next Three Decades

Oct. 18, 2017 (EIRNS)—Opening the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping laid out, in a nearly four-hour speech, a broad vision for the period leading up to the Centenary celebration of the founding of the Communist Party to be held in 2049, significantly shortening the pace of China’s modernization. Xi began with a look back at the last five years of development since he became General Secretary of the Communist Party, pointing to the expansion of the middle-income group in Chinese society, major advances in the previously backward central and western regions. In that period the country has become "more purposeful" in implementing green technology, and it has revitalized the armed forces. Poverty elimination has been "formidable." At the same time, Xi continued, the Communist Party has "enforced strict governance" and "created a deterrent against corruption," problems, he said, that were threatening the party. In addition, the process of reform and opening up has "propelled China into a leadership capacity." "China’s influence has risen as never before," Xi said. "China stands tall and firm in the East." "The changes have been fundamental and profound. We have solved problems that had never been tackled," he said.

Looking ahead to the next decade, Xi accelerated the pace of development from earlier prognoses. The two Centenary goals that China had set itself as a goal have been to a) realize a moderately prosperous society by 2020, effectively eliminating poverty in China by that time, and b) to transform China by 2050 into a "strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious, and modern socialist country." In his speech, Xi now divided that period into two parts. Between 2020 and 2035, China will achieve full modernization; between 2035 and 2050, China "will be transformed into a great society in which China will reach new heights." By then China will have "achieved its capacity of governance," the Chinese people will be prosperous and safer, and the nation will be "a strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful nation, and China will have become a fully active member of the community of nations."

The means for attaining these goals, Xi underlined, will be expanding the breadth and depth of the Chinese Communist Party, the main instrument for the great breakthroughs that the Chinese nation has achieved since the century of humiliation which began with China’s defeat in the Opium Wars and up to and including the present era of reform and opening up, initiated by Deng Xiaoping, in which the notion of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" was developed. Xi stressed that China had not been interested in adopting . foreign model for its development. "We had to establish a social system that suited the Chinese reality,” he said. "It was the most profound transformation of the Chinese people in which it succeeded in reversing its fate" he said. "Our party has never forgotten its primary mission. We have overcome difficulties and created miracle upon miracle." "The country has now entered a new era in its development, requiring a theoretical development of the notion of socialism with Chinese characteristics," Xi said. "This Congress is a meeting of great importance in this decisive stage as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era," he said. "Party-building plays a decisive role in that process," Xi said.

"Our mission is a call to action. We must live up to the wishes of the people. We have to take up a theoretical study of what socialism with Chinese characteristics means in all areas of our activity."

This will include:

"assuring party leadership over all work; committing ourselves to a people-centered approach; continuing to comprehensively develop reform and getting rid of all outdated thinking; adopting a new vision for development; and seeing that the people run the country."

The key objective of the Party Congress in launching this new era is to prepare the party cadre for this endeavor and to make sure they have their eyes on the goal. The anti-corruption campaign within the government and the party has been aimed at doing this, and Xi, in his speech, was keen on underlining the importance of this process, reiterating again and again the need for the party cadre to be solely committed to the welfare of the people they serve. "Party cadre must breathe the same breath as the people," Xi said. The Party would also continue its development of a socialist democracy, Xi said, reaching out to non-party members and members of other parties in realizing the dream of Chinese Rejuvenation. The consultative process with non-party members, which has always been an integral part of China’s political system since the founding of the PRC, will be expanded and the consultations intensified as China moves forward. Members of other groups and parties had also been invited to attend this year’s party congress with more extensive coverage by the international media.

Realizing these goals would not be "a walk in the park," Xi underlined. The country still faced serious problems particularly with its "unbalanced and inadequate development". "We have to aim high and beware of the dangers," Xi said. He placed great stress on the continued development of China’s military strength and assured that it would be transformed into a world-class military by the middle of the century. He underlined the need for maintaining the system of One Country, Two Systems with regard to Macau and Hong Kong, both of which have flourished under this system. And he warned against any revival of notions of Taiwan independence, reiterating China’s determination to prevent separation from Taiwan under the One Country, Two Systems model.

He said China would continue its opening up, both expanding investment from abroad and pursuing China’s "going global" strategy, with the emphasis on the Belt and Road Initiative. Globally, "there are many challenges to face," Xi said. And "no country can meet the challenges alone, nor can it retreat into isolation." China’s "call for cooperation is inclusive and is aimed at creating a community of nations with a shared future," he said. "We must stick together through thick and thin." "Let us seek to learn from each other," Xi said.

"China respects the right of all nations to seek their own path. We will never pursue development at the cost of others. We will find a convergence with other countries and will strengthen cooperation with other developing countries and promote cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative,"

he said.

While underlining the importance of a renewed study of the history of China since the creation of the People’s Republic in 1949, he also underlined the need for a continued revival and proliferation of the great traditions of Chinese thought throughout its 5,000-year history. "In the course of tha. 5,000 year history," Xi said,

"China has made a great contribution to mankind. China would continue to promote the arts and to preserve traditional Chinese culture and encourage a people-centered approach in the arts."

Xi also underlined the importance of science, outlining the latest breakthroughs that China has made in scientific discovery and urging the promotion of the "spirit of science" among the people and "making scientific knowledge more widely available." The immediate goal of Chinas economic policy is to transform it into an "innovation society."

Among the delegates to the Party Congress were several astronauts, including Jing Haipeng, the commander of the last Shenzhou mission and the Chinese astronaut who has spent the longest time in space.