Political Report

Hu: Well-off society is top goal

Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, makes a keynote speech at the opening of the Party's 17th National Congress in Beijing on Monday. [CNS]

The Communist Party of China (CPC) will lead the Chinese people in building a well-off society that ensures balanced economic growth, improvement of people's well-being and social justice by 2020, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, pledged on Monday

"In keeping with the changes in domestic and international situations and in light of the expectations of people of all ethnic groups for a better life, we must set new and higher requirements for China's development based on the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects set at the 16th Party congress," Hu said in his report to the 17th CPC National Congress which opened in Beijing on Monday.

To this end, he added, China will continue to power the engine of economic growth by quadrupling the per capita value of the 2000 gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.

But the rapid growth will be subject to the proviso of reduced consumption of resources and greater efforts in environment protection, Hu said, proposing that a conservation culture be promoted while moving to build a well-off society.

The country will considerably increase the proportion of renewable energy in total energy consumption, bring the discharge of major pollutants under effective control and significantly improve ecological and environmental quality, Hu added.

Meanwhile, the nation will persist in reform and opening up, accelerate social development with the focus on improving people's livelihood, with particular stress on education, employment and social security. It will also manage to narrow the widening income gap, expand democracy, prevent and check corruption, modernize its armed forces and enhance the "soft power" of its culture, Hu noted.

More than 2,200 delegates from across the country are attending the congress, the most important political event that will chart a roadmap for development in the next five years.

The congress, scheduled to last until Sunday, is set to elect the Party's 17th Central Committee that will decide the CPC's new leadership lineup for the coming few years, and elect a new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

A draft amendment to the Party Constitution is expected to be approved to embody the Scientific Outlook on Development and other new achievements in the Party's theoretical innovation and progress in practice.

The Scientific Outlook on Development, initiated by the 16th CPC Central Committee in 2003, is part of the theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics that stands alongside Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents.

On foreign policy, Hu said the country will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development.

China opposes terrorism, hegemonism and power politics in any form and does not engage in an arms race or pose a military threat to any country, and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion, he said.

Noting the country cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, and nor can the world enjoy prosperity and stability without China, Hu said "China will never seek benefits for itself at the expense of other countries or shift its troubles onto others".

Sharing opportunities for development and rising to challenges together to further the cause of peace and development of humanity is in the fundamental interests of the people of all countries, Hu said.

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