Attributing the country's present vitality to the past three decades of reform and opening up, Communist Party of China (CPC) General Secretary Hu Jintao promised continued loyalty to the proven course.
Calling reform and opening a "new great revolution," Hu associated it with all of the Party's grand ideals, from developing the economy to maintaining its own leadership role in society.
Indeed, China would not have been what it is today were it not for the persistent endeavors to integrate its economy with the outside world, and to reshuffle its approaches to administration. Our economy's current interdependence with the world economy was unthinkable 30 years back, as are its impact on the international market.
There once were doubts and fears surrounding the proposal to open our doors wider. The sense of uncertainty was particularly obvious prior to and immediately after the nation's entry into the World Trade Organization. But most of the worries have proven unwarranted. Increasingly, this country and its critics have agreed that opening up is the right thing to do.
We have full confidence in saying that opening up has passed the point of no return.
Compared with openness, some outsiders appear less sure about reforms. But Hu's response to such concerns was clear and simple: There is no way out if we stop or back-pedal.
Reforms not only liberated the national economy from ideology and overall central planning, but also upgraded the CPC's thinking and skills for administration. Reforms have reached such width and depth that minor modifiers hardly suffice for major leaps forward. Now every step forward entails greater pains.
The implementation of the "scientific outlook on development", for example, demands a series of changes in the way we define, pursue and evaluate progress, which is a lot more challenging than we anticipated.
It is inspiring to hear Hu reiterate the Party's resolve to press ahead with political reforms. In order to deliver sensible leadership for national development, the Party has to consistently adjust and improve itself. Transparency and democracy, which Hu discussed in his report, are crucial elements of good governance.
Most important of all, further economic success cannot be achieved independent of political progress.
(China Daily October 20, 2007)