Published: Tue, December 18, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

China marks 40 years since market liberalisation

China marks 40 years since market liberalisation

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In a highly anticipated speech at the Great Hall of the People on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the 40th anniversary of China's "reform and opening up" policy, while also making it clear that Beijing would not diverge from its one-party system.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised that the country will "never seek hegemony" even as it approaches the center of the world stage.

"No one is in the position to dictate to the Chinese people what should be done".

China's heavy support of its sprawling state sector has been a point of contention with the United States.

China's expanding footprint worldwide - from Asia-Pacific to Africa and beyond through a broad network of infrastructure projects called the Belt and Road Initiative - has led some nations to raise the alarm over what they call China's long arm of influence, which has been criticized for being political as well as economic.

Xi's speech espoused "above all else", said Julian Gewirtz, an global affairs scholar at Harvard, "the distinctiveness and absolute correctness of China's path under the party's leadership".

In fact, Xi's speech reaffirmed China's pursuit of "indigenous innovation" in "core technologies".

No One Can ''Dictate'' To China What It Should, Shouldn't Do: Xi Jinping

"There is no textbook of golden rules to follow for reform and development in China, a country with over 5,000 years of civilization and more than 1.3 billion people", Xi said.

Without directly referring to the United States, Xi said China "poses no threat" to any country but warned that it would not be pushed around.

"We will resolutely uphold the authoritative and centralised leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and ensure that party leadership is implemented and reflected in reform, development, stability, domestic and foreign affairs, national defence, party, state, military and other fields", he said.

The address credited former leader Deng Xiaoping's market reforms with saving the country from the brink of economic collapse following the tumultuous Cultural Revolution.

Wary of an opposing power base in economically powerful Shanghai, Deng chose the extreme south of the country as the guinea pig for his reforms.

Numerous luminaries in attendance were cited for their contributions to economic reforms including the heads of online giants Alibaba, Tencent Holdings and Baidu and carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings, a nod to the role of the private sector.

Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed early this month to a 90-day truce in the trade dispute, which halted the threatened escalation of punitive tariffs while the two sides continue negotiations.

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