Xi Jinping vows no stop in reform, opening up

By Guo Likun, Yan Hao & Wang Pan

 

Xi Jinping, the new leader of China’s ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), vowed, “No stop in reform, and no stop in opening up,” during his trip to south China’s Guangdong Province from Dec. 7 to 11.

Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said the 18th CPC National Congress issued “a new declaration” and “a new mobilization order” for deepening reform and opening up.

He called on the entire Party and people from all ethnic groups to unswervingly adhere to the path of reform and opening up and put greater focus on pursuing reform in a more systematic, whole and coordinated way.

Xi said he chose Guangdong, which served as the testing grounds for reform and opening up policies more than 30 years ago, as the destination of his inspection tour because he wanted to “conduct an on-site retrospective of the history of reform and opening up and declare the resolve to continue to push forward the policy.”

On the morning of Dec. 8, Xi laid a basket of flowers in front of the statue of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in Lianhuashan Park in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

“We came here to revere the statue of Deng Xiaoping to show that we’ll unswervingly push forward reform and opening up and strive to achieve new progress, new breakthroughs and new steps in boosting reform and opening up and the country’s modernization drive,” he said.

Xi planted a lofty fig tree before leaving the park.

During his trip, Xi reiterated, “Reform and opening up was a great awakening in the CPC’s history.”

This “great awakening” gave rise to both the theories and the practices of the new era, he said.

Xi hailed reform and opening up as “the source of vitality” in the development of modern China, as well as “a magic tool” for the Party and the Chinese people to use to keep pace with the times.

“Reform and opening up is the only route that must be taken to adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics,” he said.

Xi stressed that China’s reform has come to a juncture where it will be more complicated to tackle difficult issues, and the CPC should deepen reform in vital fields with more political courage and wisdom in a timely manner.

Deepening reform and opening up requires firm confidence, consensus, comprehensive planning and coordinated steps, Xi said.

The new general secretary of the CPC Central Committee described reform and opening up as a “win-or-lose movement” for deciding China’s fate and determining whether the country will achieve the goals meant to be achieved by 2021 and 2049, the years marking the centennial anniversaries of the founding of the CPC and the People’s Republic of China, respectively. It is also a movement that will contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Implementing development, freeing minds and carrying out reform and opening up are endless tasks, Xi said. “To pause or reverse the reform and opening up will lead to a dead end.”

“We should dare to tackle difficulties and venture along dangerous paths to break through barriers to reform presented by ideological differences and vested interests,” Xi said.

Xi said the CPC should work out a comprehensive plan to deepen the reform that is designed by the country’s top leaders and based on intensified investigation and research. It should also respect grassroots innovations made by the people.

“We should respect the people’s practices and creations during reform, as well as encourage bold exploration and a pioneering spirit to accumulate positive momentum to promote reform in all aspects,” Xi said.

During his tour in Guangdong, Xi visited villages, urban communities, military troops and research institutions in several cities.

He visited Tencent Inc., a Shenzhen-based, Hong Kong-listed Internet service provider that operates the popular instant messenger Tencent QQ.

Xi also visited a manufacturing base of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. in Zhuhai, where business jets and other general aircraft are assembled.

Xi also toured two new districts, Qianhai in Shenzhen and Hengqin in Zhuhai, established to boost industrial cooperation with the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, respectively.

At the end of his inspection tour in Guangdong, Xi reminded local officials that the country needs doers to construct a well-off society, basically achieve modernization and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Officials at all levels should strengthen their ideals and faith, maintain an optimistic attitude and transform their work style to create more achievements, Xi urged.

Many residents in Shenzhen said they felt inspired as their city was chosen as the first stop of Xi’s inspection as general secretary.

“Shenzhen is the showcase of China’s reform and opening-up initiative,” said Zhao Yang with a local technology firm, adding that the open environment in the city had fostered many youths to achieve success.

Zhao believes that Xi’s visit to Shenzhen gave a clear signal to the world that China will resolutely deepen its reform and broaden its opening up in the future.

 

CHANGE OF STYLE

In addition to sending a clear message on the country’s persistence in reform and opening up, Xi’s visit to Guangdong demonstrated a change of officials’ work style.

Many web users linked Xi’s visit with a newly revealed policy to reject extravagance and reduce bureaucratic visits and meetings.

In the latest meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on December 4, senior officials agreed that “there should be fewer traffic controls arranged for leaders’ security while on trips in order to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the public.”

According to Shenzhen police, no road was sealed during the CPC general secretary’s stay in the city.

“Xi was traveling along with public transport, private cars and taxis, which marks the first senior official visit without issuing traffic controls,” said an entry posted on the official microblog of the traffic management authority of Shenzhen.

“Lu Yaming” shared his encounter with Xi’s motorcade on popular microblogging site Weibo.com, saying that Xi’s minibus had transparent glass and no curtains.

“It was travelling at about 60 km/h with only one escort vehicle when it passed by,” the netizen added, concluding, “The style has indeed changed.”

Many other netizens also welcomed the change and invited Xi to return to Shenzhen on a regular basis.

Deng Guohua, whose family hosted Xi during his stay in Yumin Village, said he noticed that the leader talked in a natural way, without any sense of grandeur.

Another Shenzhen resident told Xinhua that he wished he was at Lianhuashan Park on the morning of December 8 to photograph Xi with his phone.

“It’s rare that police did not ask ordinary people to leave and it means that Xi wants to talk to us,” said the man.

A former teacher in Shenzhen also said he felt that the new work style showed that the general secretary had noticed what the people are thinking.

“From Xi’s visit, I see a clear demonstration that reform and opening up cannot be changed but certain bureaucratic work style can be changed,” said the retiree.

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