Four decades after China’s late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping masterminded the “reformand opening up” policy, the Asian giant has become an economic superpower,behind only the United States. President Xi Jinping said China would stick to itspolicy agenda, despite pressure from the U.S. and others to allow morecompetition in its economic system and to reduce support for state industry.

In a speech to an audience of party officials, military leaders and entrepreneurs Xi said that “no one is in the position to dictate to the Chinese people what should and should not be done”. The 80-minute address in Beijing was held to mark the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening Up campaign that unleashed the country’s economic boom under then leader Deng Xiaoping.

“What and how to reform must be based on the overarching goal of improving and developing the socialist system with Chinese characteristics,” Xi said “We will resolutely reform what should or can be changed, but will never reform what cannot be changed.”

Maria Elena Argano

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