The ruling Communist Party of China, the CPC has convened its 17th National Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the 16th CPC Central Committee, delivered a keynote report.
It's the first time for Hu Jintao to head the Party's National Congress since he was elected as the General Secretary of the CPC in 2002. On behalf of 73 million CPC members across China, Hu Jintao summarized the party's achievements and lessons during the past 5 years, as well as set blueprints for the years ahead.
Wu Bangguo, executive member of the Congress presidium, presided over the opening meeting.
Photo taken on Oct. 15, 2007 shows the opening ceremony of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China. The congress will last for seven days till October 21. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
All the delegates mourned for 1 minute to pay tribute to the late proletarian revolutionists of Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yun, and Martyrs of the Chinese revolution.
In the name the 16th CPC Central Committee, Hu Jintao delivered a report, titled "Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive for New Victories in Building A Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects."
Hu said, "The theme of the congress is to hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, continue to emancipate the mind, persist in reform and opening up, pursue development in a scientific way, promote social harmony, and strive for new victories in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects."
Assessing the Party's work over the past five years, Hu Jintao said substantial progress was made. Meanwhile, he pointed out major problems. They include: the high cost of resources and the environment, imbalance development between urban and rural areas, problems affecting people's immediate interests such as public health and social security, the comparatively low income for farmers, and corruption of some party cadres.
Hu said, "While recognizing our achievements, we must be well aware that they still fall short of the expectations of the people and that there are still quite a few difficulties and problems on our way forward. We must pay close attention to these problems and continue our efforts to solve them."
To continue to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics, Hu Jintao noted that the Party must apply the Scientific Outlook on development.
Hu said, "The Scientific Outlook on Development takes development as its essence, putting people first as its core, comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development as its basic requirement, and overall consideration as its fundamental approach."
Hu Jintao noted that the coming 5 years are crucial to build a moderately prosperous society. A specific target is to increase four times the 2000 per capital GDP by 2020.
On the issue of reunification, Hu Jintao said China's sovereignty and territorial integrity will not tolerate any division. He called on compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to work together to oppose any secessionist activities.
Hu said, "We are willing to make every effort with the utmost sincerity to achieve peaceful reunification of the two sides, and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any name or by any means."
The 17th National Party Congress comes at a crucial time for this generation of leadership. The main challenge for the ruling party is how to enable all Chinese to share the wealth and benefits of nearly 3 decades of reform. And the policies endorsed at the congress will have far-reaching impacts on both Chinese society, and the world at large.