Beijing, China – President Xi Jinping took three hours on Wednesday to recount the progress of his five-year leadership and proposing for the future of China during day one of the Communist Party of China (CPC) congress.
Xi’s presentation was impeccable. Standing firmly on the podium and enunciating every word meticulously, he drew thunderous applauds from the over 2,280 delegates in the Great Hall of the People – China’s momentous political edifice.
It is a lengthy report that paints a comprehensive picture of China’s domestic and global progress in the past half decade and sets the tone for the path it would thread the coming five years.
"The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation," said Xi, who is also the secretary general of the CPC, at the opening of the weeklong political gathering.
The CPC 19th congress is the country’s ultimate political gathering, which also elects top members of the party politburo standing committee – the most powerful body of the party - and the Secretary General who then becomes the nation’s president.
Over 2000 delegates from all walks of life are attending the Communist Party of China 19th congress in the country's capital, Beijing.
The 18th party congress, which brought Xi to the helm, was held in October 2012.There are expectations that Xi would be re-elected as leader for the next five years.
In his report, the Chinese leader detailed the major gains including economic achievements, deepening reforms, ecological civilization, strengthening the military and advancing China’s international diplomacy amongst others.
“We have remained committed to the new development philosophy, adopted the right approach to development, and endeavored to transform the growth model,” Xi said, pointing to the results as “constant improvement in the quality and effect of development” of China.
The statistics are resounding. Despite recent slow growth, China’s remains the second largest economy in the world making up 30% of the entire global economy. It has a rising GDP of 80 trillion Yuan (about US$11.8 trillion).
Under the rule of CPC, the country has an audaciously ambitious plan of becoming a “moderately prosperous society” by 2020.
It has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty in the last decades.
Now, Xi says it time to realize the “Chinese dream” but admitted that achieving it will be “no walk in the park, and it will take more than drum beating and gong clanging to get there."
Under Xi’ leadership, agricultural modernization has advanced with 600 million metric tons grains per year and urbanization has also increased by an annual average of 1.2%.
More than 80 million people were been urbanized in the last five years.
Xi said a supply-side reform has stimulated economic growth. Digital economy, bridges, ports, airports and other types of infrastructure has picked up pace, he said.
“Through devoting great energy to implementing the innovation-driven development strategy, we have seen much accomplished toward making China a country of innovators, with major advances made in science and technology,” he said.
He, however, called for reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in making them ‘stronger, better and bigger’.
"We will further reform of SOEs, develop mixed-ownership economic entities, and turn Chinese enterprises into world-class, globally competitive firms," Xi said of the economy.
But as China maintains its domestic economic reforms and progress under the Communist Party, the need to play a more global role is resonating amid fear of protectionism by the United States and the United Kingdom.
The CPC secretary general wants a share future for mankind in an “era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind.”
It has starring roles in several globalization initiations including the One Belt One Road economic cooperation which heralds win-win cooperation amongst developing countries, the BRICS economic bloc, the establishment of regional development banks and funds to impact development projects and commitment to international treaties like the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“With this we have seen a further rise in China’s international influence, ability to inspire, and power to shape; and China has made great new contribution to global peace and development,” Xi said.
He reemphasized Beijing’s “non-interference” foreign policy, which means not meddling in the domestic politics of other countries.
"The development of China is no threat to any other country. No matter how much China has developed, it will never seek hegemony or expansion," he said.