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30 years on, Chinese still crave for reform, opening-up
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Reform and opening-up is a natural choice for China to handle challenges triggered by the world financial crisis, and sustain its economic miracle, a Chinese scholar said on Wednesday.

Chi Fulin, the executive director of the China (Hainan) Reform and Development Research Institute, along with other members of Chinese society, and newspapers have voiced their support for extending reform and opening up, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up.

The People's Daily, a mouthpiece newspaper of the Communist Party of China (CPC), carried a bylined article on its front page on Wednesday "A historic chance awaits us". It stressed "the time demands that we propel reform and opening-up".

"It is impossible to reach our aim in one move," said the article, "we need to consider how to push forward the great endeavour of reform and opening-up."

"Unswervingly adhere to the socialist market economy," was clearly stated at the central economic working conference which ended last week.

Thursday is the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. The third plenary session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC was opened on Dec. 18, 1978, which signaled the country's mission shift from the social class struggle to economic construction, as well as a starting point for the reform and opening-up.

Having gone through a series of significant events including snow disasters, the Sichuan earthquake, and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, China will now celebrate the 30th anniversary of reform and opening-up.

Reform has remained a key topic for all domestic media, and galas to celebrate reform and opening-up were held around the country in the past weeks.

The climax will be on Thursday morning, when a celebration meeting will be held in Beijing, to review and commentate the achievements and significance of the epoch changing policy initiated 30 years before.

However, there is a long way to go after the celebration.

The country's reform is faced with many tasks, said Chi Fulin, adding that all the tasks are very "hard ones".

According to Chi, the unexpected world financial crisis has put big pressure on the country's reform and development.

Chi also regarded these challenges as a "reversed transmission of the pressure", which was similar to that of 30 years ago. The Cultural Revolution led China to political and economic turmoil, which propelled the CPC to choose reform and opening-up as a way out.

Chi's opinion was echoed by Wang Yang, the Party chief of southern Guangdong Province, who stressed that the crisis has also provided chances for Guangdong to search for a new economic growth model separate from traditional processing industry.

Affected by the world economic recession, China was faced with economic pain. In November, the country's exports witnessed negative growth for the first time in seven years.

Deepening reform and opening-up has become one key point for China to maintain economic growth, and also one of the five key points for next year's economic work.

The People's Daily published six commentaries from Dec.1, stressing "Standing at a new historic starting point, we should continue to propel reform and opening-up, and persist with the socialist market economy".

The Financial Times Chinese language website listed Deng Xiaoping, the initiator of reform, as the top Chinese personality of the past 30 years.

"He helped Chinese people become rich, his policies almost reached every Chinese person in the late 20th century, and also changed the world to a certain extent," the website gave out as its reason.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in Beijing on Tuesday that in the past three decades, China has benefited from the international system, and vice versa.

Chi Fulin expects an important speech from China's top leader on Thursday. "I hope the speech would help propel the reform in the next 30 years, especially against the background of the financial crisis," said Chi.

(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2008)

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