China holds a grand gathering to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Dec 18, 2018. (PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA)
BEIJING — China held a grand gathering Tuesday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up, a great revolution that has changed the destiny of the Chinese nation and also influenced the world.
President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attended the event, which began at around 10 am at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The reform and opening-up is a great revolution in the history of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation, said Xi while addressing the meeting.
The reform and opening-up is a great revolution in the history of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation. It is the great revolution that propelled a quantum leap forward in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics
Xi Jinping, President, China
It is the great revolution that propelled a quantum leap forward in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi said.
"What we have achieved in the past 40 years was not a windfall, nor was it given in charity by others. It comes from the hard work, wisdom and courage of all members of the Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China," Xi said.
He also said the reform and opening-up is a great reawakening of the Communist Party of China (CPC), nurturing great creativity in both theory and practice for the CPC.
"Chinese Communists accomplished the most profound and the greatest social transformation in China's history and created the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundation for all development and progress in China today," said Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Xi called the pursuit of reform and opening-up and socialism with Chinese characteristics a milestone in realizing the Chinese nation's rejuvenation.
Underlining China's commitment to opening up wider to the world and promoting joint efforts to build a community with a shared future for humanity, Hi said the practice of reform and opening-up over the past 40 years has shown that openness brings progress, while seclusion leads to backwardness.
"China cannot develop itself in isolation from the world, and the world needs China for global prosperity.”
The founding of the CPC and the founding of the People's Republic of China were also the milestones on the way toward the great national rejuvenation in the modern times, said the Chinese leader.
They represented three historic events taking place after the May Fourth Movement in 1919, according to him.
He also said how the country has kept improving the people's lives and well-being over the past 40 years, pointing out that China has lifted 740 million people out of poverty in the 40 years, reducing the poverty headcount ratio by 94.4 percentage points.
China has bid farewell to the problems that plagued its people for thousands of years, including hunger, shortage and poverty, said Xi.
The people-oriented approach must be adhered to and efforts should be made to keep delivering on the people's aspirations for a better life, he said.
"In considering and introducing a policy, we must first and foremost ensure the backing, approval and endorsement of the people," he said.
(GRAPHIC DESIGN BY ALEX TANG / CHINA DAILY)
The wishes the people express, the best practices they create, the rights they are entitled to and the role they play must be respected, said Xi, who demanded efforts to fully stimulate and unlock the people's creativity.
The country has maintained its social stability over a long period, making it one of the countries that provide the greatest sense of safety in the world
Xi Jinping, Chinese President
The nation has built the world's largest social security system, with the basic old-age pension covering more than 900 million people and medical insurance covering over 1.3 billion people, Xi said.
"The country has maintained its social stability over a long period, making it one of the countries that provide the greatest sense of safety in the world."
He stressed the Party's leadership over all work while calling for constantly enhancing and improving the Party's way of leadership. The reform and opening-up in the past four decades has shown that CPC leadership is the most essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the greatest strength of this system, he said.
"The Party must guide the overall situation and coordinate the work of all sides, remain committed to practicing scientific, democratic, and law-based governance...and see that China's ship of reform and opening up will break waves and sail on the right course," Xi said.
Addressing the gathering in celebration of the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, President Xi Jinping summed up the great achievements of the country's reform and opening-up. (PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA)
Xi stressed staying on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.
A major country like China cannot afford any disruptive mistake on fundamental issues. We must show full tenacity and persistence to see all major reform measures through
Xi Jinping, Chinese President
"There is no textbook of golden rules to follow for reform and development in China, a country with over 5,000 years of civilization and more than 1.3 billion people," he said. "No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done."
Xi stressed that the decisive role of the market in resource allocation should be put into full play while the role of the government will be better leveraged, and the vitality of various market entities will be stimulated. He said China has stayed committed to the fundamental national policy of opening-up, noting China cannot develop itself in isolation from the world, and the world needs China for global prosperity.
"A major country like China cannot afford any disruptive mistake on fundamental issues," Xi said when elaborating on the need to strike a balance between reform, development and stability.
"We must show full tenacity and persistence to see all major reform measures through," Xi said.
Xi also called for upholding Marxism as the guiding ideology and exploring theoretical innovations based on practice.
"We must update and popularize Marxism in the context of a modern day China, and make new breakthroughs in developing Marxism."
According to Xi, China's development over the past 40 years has effectively served the cause of world peace and development.
This Dec 18, 2018 photo shows a section of the participants at the celebration marking the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. (PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA)
He said China's development has provided successful experience and offered a bright prospect for other developing countries as they strive for modernization.
Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting.
The celebration started with all participants rising to sing the national anthem
Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, read a decision to award those who have made outstanding contributions to the country's reform and opening-up.
The people are "the creators of the great wonder of reform and opening-up" and "the source of power" to drive the campaign started 40 years ago, Wang said.
According to the decision made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, 100 Chinese were awarded the medals of reform pioneers and 10 foreigners were honored with China reform friendship medals.
Chinese leaders presented the medals to the prize winners.
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