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Official Documents
Special> 40th Anniversary of the Normalization of Sino-Japanese Relations> Background> Official Documents
UPDATED: July 16, 2008 NO. 27 JUL. 3, 2008
Speech at Waseda University
Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China
May 8, 2008, Tokyo

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy in China. It is a year of special significance for China and for the Chinese people. Over the past 30 years, China has successfully made the historical transition from a highly centralized planned economy to a robust socialist market economy, and from a closed and semi-closed country to a country that is wide open to the outside world. China's economy, once ranked 11th on the globe, has grown into the world's fourth largest. China has become the third biggest trading nation in the world. The Chinese people, once lacking basic living necessities, are now enjoying initial prosperity. Historic changes have taken place in China.

If a country or nation is to develop itself in this increasingly competitive world, it must be determined to carry out reform, boost development, persist in opening up, put people first and promote harmony. This is the conclusion we have drawn in the great cause of reform and opening-up.

To be determined to carry out reform means that we should advance with the times and make bold changes and innovations. We should resolutely break with all ideas and mindsets that hamper development, change all regulations and practices that impede development, and remove all institutional barriers that hinder development, so as to provide strong impetus to social progress.

To boost development means that we should regard development as our top priority at all times. We should pursue development in a scientific way, appreciate the law of development, make innovations in our development outlook, change the development mode and resolve difficult issues in the course of development. We should keep releasing and developing the productive forces to achieve sound and rapid economic development.

To persist in opening up means that we should open our doors to pursue development. We should conduct economic and technological cooperation with all countries on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win outcome, and draw upon all achievements of human civilization. We should develop ourselves by upholding world peace and contribute to world peace by developing ourselves.

To put people first means that we should ensure that development is for the people, by the people and with the people sharing its fruits. We must respect the principal role of the people, give play to their creativity, be responsive to people's aspirations, and give top priority to serving people's interests. We need to continue to improve the material and cultural life of our people and ensure their all-round development.

To promote harmony means that we should spare no effort to solve the most specific problems of the utmost and immediate concern to the people. We should focus on promoting social equity and justice, enhance the creativity of the society, and do our utmost to increase factors of harmony and reduce factors of disharmony, so as to ensure the well-being and happiness of the people, law and order in the society and enduring peace and stability of the country.

"If one day there may be a renovation, then every day there may be, indeed, daily there must be." "As Heaven keeps vigor through movement, a gentleman should unremittingly practice self-improvement." The ancient Chinese philosophers put forward these important thoughts from their observation of the universe. These maxims reveal the perseverance and resilience of the Chinese nation and have inspired people for thousands of years. The values cherished by the Chinese people today are shaped by their rich experience in the modern world. They also stem from the profound traditions of the Chinese civilization. They are a great source of strength and inspiration for the Chinese people to keep abreast with the time, through transformation and innovation.

A solid conclusion has been drawn from China's reform and opening-up process, that is, the rapid development of China in the past 30 years is attributed to reform and opening-up, and China's future development will also have to rely on reform and opening-up. Reform and opening-up is a key decision that has shaped modern China. It is also a choice made by the entire 1.3 billion Chinese people.

In spite of the unprecedented achievements, we are soberly aware that China remains the world's largest developing country, with a large population, weak economic foundation, uneven development, and challenges of unparalleled magnitude and complexity. There is still a long way to go before all of the over 1 billion Chinese people can enjoy greater prosperity in a modernized country. We have to work hard for a long time to achieve it.

China is committed to socialism with distinctive Chinese features. We will continue to follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "Three Represents," fully apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, and work to balance urban and rural development,

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