President Xi Jinping vowed to uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics and China's independent "path, theory and system" on Wednesday as China marked the 110th anniversary of the birth of Deng Xiaoping.
Addressing a symposium to mark the anniversary, which falls on Friday, Xi said the most important political and theoretical legacy of the late Chinese leader is socialism with Chinese characteristics, which the Party and people created under the leadership of Deng.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics fits China's reality and meets the needs of the times, which is why it works, he said.
"The independent path, theory and system are key to the sovereignty and dignity of our country as well as the self-esteem and independence of the Chinese nation," he said.
"We will try our best to reform areas that are weak and unsound and learn from the good experiences of foreign countries, but we will never completely copy the foreign experience let alone absorb bad things from them," he said.
China will never belittle itself nor forget its roots, Xi said, adding that the country's contemporary history has proven the only right way to solve problems in China is to do so in a Chinese way, based on the Chinese reality.
In the 17 years since Deng passed away, the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with Jiang Zemin at the core and then with Hu Jintao as general secretary, have adhered to the principles and policies adopted during Deng's time and made notable progress, he said.
"Today the relay baton is in our hands as well as the heavy responsibility," Xi said.
He voiced his confidence in the success of the CPC and Chinese people in the 21st century, just as they had won in the 20th century.
Senior leaders Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli attended the event.
The symposium, held at the Great Hall of the People, was presided over by Liu Yunshan, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
Chief architect of China's reform
In his address, Xi sang the praises of Deng's achievements, describing him as "an prominent leader acknowledged by the whole Party, armed forces and Chinese people from all ethnic groups", "a great Marxist, revolutionary, statesman, military leader and diplomat", "a long-tested communist fighter", "the chief architect of China's socialist reform and opening-up and modernization", "the pathfinder of socialism with Chinese characteristics" and "the main founder of Deng Xiaoping Theory".
Deng was born on August 22, 1904 in southwest China's Sichuan Province. He was well known and widely praised for his painstaking efforts in leading the country's modern-day transformation, starting in the 1970s.
In his speech, Xi spoke highly of Deng's firm faith in Communism and deep affection of the common people.
He called on all Party members to fortify their loyalty to the ideal of Communism and socialism with Chinese Characteristics as well as devotion to the country and people.
Xi appreciated Deng's pragmatic perspective to always "seek truth from facts" as well as political courage and sense of responsibility to test uncharted waters and break new ground. He also praised his vision as a statesman and noble personality as a leader.
China is still on a long and harsh path to reform, opening up and modernizing itself, along which creativity should be respected, Xi said.
"We should always be brave enough to explore and create," Xi said. "We shall proceed with reform and opening up without hesitation."
(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2014)