17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Continue to Push forward Reform and Opening up

Twenty-nine years of reform and opening up is not a long time in the history of the Chinese nation; but the impact on the Chinese people's historical destiny has been profound.

In the report of the 17th CPC National Congress, Comrade Hu Jintao pointed out: "Facts prove incontrovertibly that the reform and opening up of China is a key decision that has determined the fate of China; and is the only way to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and to rejuvenate the Chinese nation. Only socialism can save China and only reform and opening up can promote the development of China, socialism, and Marxism."

Reform leads to change. A series of reforms, such as abolishing the agricultural tax; waiving tuition and fees in rural compulsory education; and establishing a new rural cooperative medical system have brought benefits to the Chinese people and demonstrated new progress in China's reform and opening up.

Key Decision
For the past 29 years, the Communist Party of China has overcome a number of difficulties and introduced reform in both rural and urban areas. The bright red fingerprint of Xiaogang Villagers announced the birth of a duty contract system. The Third Plenum of the 11th Party Congress made new decisions. A comprehensive reform brought changes to the entire country.

The most obvious characteristic of the new era is reform and opening up. Just like Comrade Deng Xiaoping said, "The reform is the second revolution in China."

Reform is the only way to invigorate the country. For the past 29 years, China's economy grew at an average annual rate of 9.67% - much higher than the world's average annual economic growth rate of 3.3%. China survived the brink of economic collapse and has the world's fourth-largest economy. Per capita gross national income now ranks among that of middle-income countries.

Reform is the road to prosperity. People no longer need coupons and ration cards; and can say good-bye to shortages in goods. In the past, people had insufficient food and clothing. Now they are generally well-off. Both urban and rural areas have benefited from the reform.

Reform is the road to civilization. With the rapid development of education, science and technology, culture and other social undertakings, people's minds have been set free. Chinese society has never been more alive and vibrant.

Reform and opening up brings about tremendous change. A great historical turning point from a planned economic system to a dynamic socialist market economic system has been reached.

The essence of reform is institutional innovation. The market economy is the sophisticated invention of human beings. Chinese people have made unprecedented success by integrating the market economy with socialism.

China has closely integrated the market economy into a socialist system. Comrade Jiang Zemin pointed out: "We are engaged in a socialist market economy. ‘Socialist' is indispensable - not redundant and not superfluous. On the contrary, it is the ‘eyepoint,' and its nature is the market economy."

After 29 years of trials and hardships, the socialist market economic system was initiated and is now under continual improvement.

Diversified Development of Market Players
In the past, even a melon seed would be cause for controversy. Now, seven private airlines have been established. China has adhered to public ownership as the mainstay, and the common development of various economic sectors. The non-public economy has filled the void in the market; and has had a "catfish effect."

In the past, even the price of a box of matches was determined by the country. Now, the share of the total retail sales volume of social consumer goods regulated by the market and total sales of material reached 91.9% and 95.6% respectively. A unified, open, competitive and well-organized modern market system is under construction.

History often represents multi-lateral reunification. The history of market-oriented reform also represents one that gradually opens up.

The breadth and depth of opening up have expanded. Moving from closed and semi-closed operations to opening up across the board is a great historical turning point.

China's total amount of imports and exports increased from $20.6 billion in 1978 to $1.8 trillion in 2006, ranking third in the world; and foreign investment was second. Foreign exchange reserves surged from $167 million to more than $1,000 billion, and ranked first in the world.

Making Its Way

The goal of reform cannot be reached in one step. Challenges arise. Along with the promotion of reform and adjustment of interests, some particular problems and drawbacks also arose.

For this reason, Comrade Hu Jintao pointed out, in a clear-cut manner, that the direction and road to reform and opening up is correct. There is no way to deny achievement and success. In addition, there is no room for stagnation and regression.

This is both an historical conclusion and a realistic judgment. Deputies have unanimously expressed that all achievements during the past 29 years are closely related to reform and opening up. Only by further deepening the reform can the occurring problems be solved.

Reform is a powerful driving force, as well as an institutional guarantee. As scientific development accelerates, China urgently needs to improve its system of institutional protection. The country urgently needs to stimulate creativity and vitality, and promote social justice as it builds a harmonious society

Over the past five years, China has achieved some new breakthroughs in key areas; and has focused on building an institutional mechanism that is conducive to the scientific development.

The abolition of the agricultural tax is of epic significance. What is more, we have broken away from "Huang Zongxi Law" by preventing rural tax and fees from popping up again and again; and have entered a state of comprehensive reform in the countryside. The country has firmly adhered to the principles of "giving more, taking less and loosening control." The reform has brought benefits to farmers and improved "three rural" issues.

With the proceeding reform, the layout of the state-owned economy has had some "ups" and "downs."

The number of state-owned enterprises has been reduced. Since 2003, the number of state-owned enterprises has decreased by 8% annually.

Vitality, ruling ability and influence has increased. Since 2003, the average annual growth in the profits of state-owned enterprises reached 35.2%, with the average annual growth of total assets exceeding 13.4%. State-owned capital has been "assembled" within important industries and key areas within national security and the national economic lifeline. Funds regulated by state-owned capital increased by 1.1 times more than 2003.

Financial reform has been stressed. Deputy Zhou Xiaochuan said that after reforming the shareholding system, the ICBC, BOC, and CCB have been able to improve their major financial indicators; approach the level of major international banks; and rank among the top 10 largest banks.

Comprehensive reform of the administrative system has taken place. In several years, the country has terminated and adjusted more than 50% of administrative examination and approval projects. The government has been steering its limited function in the direction of serving, rather than controlling the people.

The Doha meeting opened the door to the WTO for China. The country's accession to the WTO represented a new beginning.

In the last five years, China has diligently fulfilled its commitment to the WTO; firmly grasped this opportunity; and made better use of "two markets and two kinds of resources."

Overall Coordination
Both the reform and development are people-oriented, and so is the scientific development. The results of the reform should also be shared by all people.

Public wisdom is welcomed. Over the past five years, by making public announcements and holding public hearings, the country has been able to constantly improve the scientific nature of decision-making. People's interests have become the foundation of reform.

Reform coordination continues. Over the past five years, reform in both rural and urban areas carried on simultaneously with political, cultural, social and economic reform. The reform has been a strong force in coordination.

The country has taken the balanced interests of all parties into consideration; and properly handled the varied relationships. It has endeavored to improve people's living standards; and therefore received whole-hearted support from the public.

In the new century and new stage, we are at a historical starting point. To popularize the scientific concept of development, we need to deepen the reform and opening up. We should introduce the spirit of reform and innovation to every link in the administration; adhere to the orientation and direction of reform; improve the scientific nature of decision-making reform; and enhance the coordination of reform measures. To improve the socialist market economy, we should promote innovation in various systems; accelerate reform within important areas and links; improve the level of opening up; and build a dynamic, efficient and more open institutional mechanism which is conducive to the scientific development. As a result, we will provide a strong driving force and institutional guarantee to the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must improve people's living standards in order to guarantee the endorsement and support of the people.

Approaching the 30th year of its reform and opening up, China will embrace a more vigorous cause for reform and opening up.




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