President Xi Jinping on Wednesday said China will emerge as a modern and prosperous nation by 2020 and suggested that other developing countries could adopt the same growth model to transform the lives of their people. Unveiling his two-stage plan to make China a “great modern socialist country” by mid-21st century, Xi, General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), said the world’s second largest economy has entered a “new era” where it should “take centre stage in the world”.
Speaking in the Great Hall of the People at the start of the week-long 19th CPC Party Congress, Xi told over 2,000 delegates that thanks to decades of “tireless struggle” China stood “tall and firm in the east”.
Now the time has come for China to transform itself into “a mighty force” that could lead the world on political, economic, military and environmental issues, 64-year-old Xi, set to get another five-year-term as party boss, said. “This is a new historic juncture in China’s development,” he said in his over three-hour address outlining the party’s priorities for the next five years.
Over the past five years, China’s GDP rose from 54 trillion yuan (USD 8.2 trillion) to 80 trillion yuan, contributing more than 30 per cent of global economic growth. More than 60 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, he said. “The Chinese nation has stood up, grown rich, and become strong – and it now embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation.. It will be an era that sees China moving closer to centre-stage and making greater contributions to mankind,” Xi said.
It also shows other developing countries the way to modernisation, and offers wisdom through the Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind, he said.
But China is still and will long remain in the primary stage of socialism. Its international status as the world’s largest developing country has not changed, Xi said.
This is the first time that the CPC has set forth a post-2020 strategic plan to make China a “great” country. The Party is expected to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the new plan, the CPC will realise socialist modernisation in the first stage from 2020 to 2035, before developing China into a “great modern socialist country” that is “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful” after another 15 years. “This means the CPC now aims to basically achieve socialist modernisation of the country around 15 years ahead of its previous schedule set by the Party’s three strategic goals, which were laid out after the adoption of the reform and opening up policy in late 1970s,” the report said.
The two-stage development plan is the CPC’s “strategic vision for developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era,” Xi said.
According to Xi, some of goals that will have been met by 2035 include China becoming a world leader in innovation, the country emerging as a global leader in terms of composite national strength and international influence and achieving common prosperity for everyone under which the Chinese people enjoy happier, safer and healthier lives. “The Chinese nation will become a proud and active member of the community of nations,” said Xi.
The two-stage plan is an important component of the “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” a long-term guide to action that the Party must adhere to and develop, he said.
The Thought builds on and further enriches Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development. It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, Xi said.
The five-yearly CPC congress is China’s most significant political meeting.
This is a meeting of great importance taking place during the decisive stage in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and at a critical moment as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, Xi said.
The Congress will deliberate and adopt an amendment to the CPC Constitution. It will also elect the Party’s 19th Central Committee and Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Established in 1921, the CPC founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and began reform and opening up in 1978.