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Reform and opening up hailed at BFA
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"China has successfully made the historic transition from a highly centralized planned economy to a robust socialist market economy and from a closed and semi-closed country to a country that is wide open to the outside world," the president said.

Hailing China's rapid economic growth, Hu said the Chinese people, once lacking basic living necessities, are now enjoying initial prosperity. The poor rural population in China has dropped from over 250 million to about 10 million.

But Chi warned that China is now facing new challenges and new imbalances such as the imbalance between sustainable economic growth and environmental protection and resource constrains, economic growth and social progress versus inadequate public service structure and public governance.

"All of these imbalances reflect the new challenges we are facing. But more importantly, it shows that we are not at the end of the reform process and our reform is still in its initial stage," Chi stressed, calling for promoting the reform in an all-round way in the new stage.

Established in 2001, the BFA is a pan-Asian platform of dialogue for key issues relating to Asia and the world.

More than 1,700 officials, business leaders, intellectuals and journalists from around the globe gathered in the scenic town for the conference that concludes on Sunday.

(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2008)

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