China’s President Xi Unveils Vision for ‘New Era’ of Strong Growth
Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping, 64 anni, laid out his vision for a more prosperous nation and its role in the world, stressing the importance of wiping out corruption and curbing industrial overcapacity, income inequality and pollution.
Opening the Communist Party congress, Xi pledged to build a “modern country for a “new era” that will be proudly Chinese and steadfastly ruled by the party but open to the world.
Although his wide-ranging address made clear there were no plans for political reform, Xi said China’s development had entered a “new era”, using the phrase 36X’s in a speech that ran nearly 3.5 hours.
“With decades of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era,” Xi said.
The week-long conclave, will culminate in the selection of a new Politburo Standing Committee to rule China’s 1.p-B people for the next 5 years, with Xi expected to consolidate his control and potentially retain power beyond Y 2022, when the next congress takes place.
President Xi spoke to more than 2,000 delegates in Beijing’s cavernous, Red-carpeted Great Hall of the People.
On the economy, Xi said China would relax market access for foreign investment, expand access to its services sector and deepen market-oriented reform of its exchange rate and financial system, while at the same time strengthening state firms.
The EU Chamber of Commerce in China said it welcomed commitments to open wider the door and treat all companies equally.
“No country can alone address the many challenges facing mankind; no country can afford to retreat into self-isolation,” Xi told the delegates.
Xi set bold long-term goals for China’s development, envisioning it as a “basically” modernized socialist country by Y 2035, and a modern socialist “strong power” with leading influence on the world stage by Y 2050.
He signaled there would be no significant political reforms, calling China’s system the broadest, most genuine, and most effective way to safeguard the interests of the people.
Xi has overseen a sweeping crackdown on civil society, locking up rights lawyers and dissidents and tightening internet controls as he has sought to revitalise the Communist Party and its place in contemporary China.
Xi praised the party’s successes, particularly his high-profile anti-graft campaign, in which more than a 1-M officials have been punished and dozens of former senior officials jailed, saying it would never end as corruption was the “gravest threat” the party faces.
On self-ruled Taiwan, Xi said China would never allow the island to separate from China, adding that China would strive to fully transform its armed forces into a world-class military by the mid-21st Century.
President Xi made no mention of neighboring NKorea, which has angered Beijing with repeated nuclear and ballistic missile tests in defiance of US sanctions.
Focus at the congress will be on how Xi plans to use his expanded authority, and moves to enable him to stay on in a leadership capacity after his 2nd term ends in Y 2022.