Plenum charts course for new-era growth
The Communist Party of China's strategic decision to promote better governance through continued reform and opening-up will ensure that the country surges forward in the new era despite challenges, observers said.
The highlight of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee — opening up more for win-win cooperation and participating in reforms of the system of global governance — illustrates China's resolve to uphold world peace and promote common development, they said.
Denis Jelimalai, Moldova's ambassador to China, said in an interview that China has been marching with the times through reform and innovation to achieve improvement and development. That's one of the advantages of the country's system of governance, he said.
Meanwhile, China is committed to all-around opening-up, and has pursued a development path with Chinese characteristics that suits its national conditions, based on independence and self-reliance, Jelimalai said.
The Belt and Road Initiative has contributed greatly to global governance and shows how China is fulfilling its responsibilities as a major power, he added.
The four-day plenum, a key Party meeting that was held at the end of last month, adopted a milestone document based on the CPC Central Committee's decision on major issues concerning how to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and advance the modernization of the country's system and capacity for governance.
The session came at an important juncture in China's history. The 70th founding anniversary had just been celebrated, and the country is striving to complete its two centenary goals — building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the CPC's 100th birthday in 2021, and turning China into a modern socialist country by the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic of China in 2049.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, told officials at the meeting that to deepen overall reform in the new era, the building of systems and capacity for governance must be taken to a more prominent position, and institutional reform in all areas must be further deepened.
Li Haiqing, a researcher at the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC's Research Center of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, said that the key tone-setting Party meeting stressed the significance of stable and efficient systems in China's reform and development.
Stepping up modernization of the country's governance systems is a fundamental requirement for advancing reform and opening-up, and also a strong guarantee as the country responds to risks and challenges and takes initiatives, Li said.
Highlighting continued reform in politics, economy, culture, social governance and ecological conservation, the plenum also reaffirmed China's commitment to advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, as well as pushing for a new round of high-level opening-up that seeks mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
China remains committed to its opening-up strategy and will advance high-quality cooperation in building the Belt and Road, strive to uphold and improve the multilateral trading system and promote trade and investment liberalization, the document adopted at the plenary session said.
The country will also continue building its network of high-standard free trade areas that are open to the world, support developing countries in improving their capacity for independent development, push for resolution of the unbalanced development problem, help close the technological divide globally and advance the building of an open world economy, the document said.
Abbie David, Grenada's ambassador to China, said in an interview that she considers the session important.
"I do believe it will continue to strengthen the Party and therefore strengthen the country. I believe it will also help to strengthen the entire world for common development."
David mentioned a recent BRI forum in Grenada held to promote the BRI in the Caribbean region.
"We understand we have become part of the Belt and Road. Grenada is a strong supporter of the initiative. We are definitely looking forward to the future with the BRI."
Shortly after the plenary session, Xi said in the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Tuesday that economic globalization represents the trend of history.
"Like the world's great rivers, the Yangtze, the Nile, the Amazon and the Danube — they all surge forward in relentless flow, and nothing can stop their mighty movement," he said. "We must all put the common good of humanity first rather than placing one's own interest above the common interest."
Xi called for building an open world economy through cooperation, with innovation and mutual benefit. "We need to stand firm against protectionism and unilateralism," he said.
Raja Dato' Nushirwan Zainal Abidin, Malaysia's ambassador to China, commended China's active participation in global governance and its staunch support for multilateralism.
"I think the most important aspect of global governance right now is that all countries should commit themselves to a rules-based international order," he said. "It is very important that we continue to work with countries like China as we continue to emphasize the importance of a global trading system."
Maija Manika Latvia's ambassador to China, said the global governance system needs the support of big countries.
"However, some big countries are not supporting the system nowadays, so it is important for China to stand by multilateralism," Manika said, adding that China and the European Union are close partners in upholding that principle.
The fourth plenum also analyzed challenges confronting China's future development. Xi said at the session that in a world undergoing changes unseen in a century the risks and challenges the country faces are more severe than ever.
The challenges arise both at home and abroad, and from social and economic arenas, as well as nature, he said. He added that risks and challenges must be dealt with using the power of the system.