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Development as the top priority

(Reform and Opening Up)

Updated:2018-10-29 |

Development as the top priority

Throughout the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping always felt a sense of urgency about China’s economic development. He believed that the target of doubling the economic output could be achieved only by seizing opportunities with determination and driving the Chinese economy up to a new level every few years. In June 1987 he urged an acceleration of the reform process, and in June 1989 he called for every possible effort to speed up development. In his speeches during his tour of southern cities in early 1992, he advocated a strategic focus on development as the top priority.

Deng’s emphasis on development was in response to world events at the time. The end of the 20th century witnessed fundamental changes in the global landscape, evidenced by the widespread pursuit of peace, social progress, happiness, stability and development. Bearing this global picture in mind, Deng called on the Party to focus on the most important issues, or rather issues of global strategic significance, those being peace and economic development.

In fact, the issue of development was Deng’s greatest concern. He said, “Development is the absolute principle. We must be clear about this question. If we fail to analyze it properly and to understand it correctly, we shall become overcautious, not daring to emancipate our minds and act freely. Consequently, we shall lose opportunities. Like a boat sailing against the current, we must forge ahead or be swept downstream.”

Four decades of reform and opening up have proved the vital importance of development and the validity of Deng’s thinking. Xi Jinping has also pointed out on many occasions that we should never waver in our resolve to pursue development, as it is the key to solving all the problems that China faces.