A special gathering was held by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council, China's cabinet, in Beijing on December 18 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. The meeting reviewed the progress and valuable experience of the past four decades, with President Xi Jinping giving a keynote address. In addition, 100 Chinese citizens were awarded the reform pioneer medal, while 10 foreigners received the reform friendship medal.
On December 18, 1978, the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee made the decision to shift the focus of the Party and the nation to economic development and to implement the policy of reform and opening up.
In his speech, Xi hailed reform and opening up as a great revolution in the history of the Chinese nation and people, something that promoted the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics by leaps and bounds.
Xi summarized China's achievements in the past 40 years from a historical, holistic and forward-looking perspective in 10 fields including politics, the economy, law and Party building. He pointed out that the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics developed since the 1978 decision, and the basic theory, route and strategy of the Party have been correct. China's development has provided useful experience and shown way for developing countries to achieve modernization.
The great achievements of China's reform and opening up didn't come out of nowhere but were made possible thanks to the hard work, wisdom and courage of all Party members and people of all ethnic groups across the country. The gathering was held not only to sum up the accomplishments of the past 40 years but also to encourage the Party and the people to continue to advance reform and opening up in the new era in order to realize the Chinese dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The valuable experience accumulated over the past four decades will help guide future development. Xi also stressed pursuing the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, prioritizing development, expanding opening up and comprehensively strengthening Party governance.
Reform and opening up has profoundly influenced the rest of the world and brought huge opportunities for other countries. At the beginning, the CPC drew a blueprint for turning China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the time of the centenary of the People's Republic of China in 2049. The recent gathering demonstrated the confidence and determination of the Party, the Chinese Government and the people to continue the drive in order to realize this goal.