After lengthy preparations and heated discussions among authorities and public over what China should be like in future, the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened its 18th National Congress yesterday.
Report by Xinhua
More than 2 200 delegates representing about 82 million CPC members will take about one week to show how they are going to reshape China in the coming five years and beyond by setting forth the development blueprint for the party and the country and choosing the next generation of leadership.
The new leaders the CPC national congress selects and the decisions made during the congress will weigh heavily on the world’s second-largest economy due to the CPC’s status as China’s only ruling party since 1949.
On the eve of the event, which is held every five years, the 91-year-old CPC is inheriting successes and wealth, as well as lessons and challenges, from its own course of exploration and predecessors.
The CPC has succeeded dazzlingly in the past three decades in overcoming massive difficulties and obstacles, propelling China into its current position as the world’s fastest growing economy, reporting average annual growth of 10,7% from 2003 to 2011.
China contributed to about 10% of the world’s gross domestic product while chalking up more than one-fifth of global growth last year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
Thanks to rapid development over the past decade, the lives of Chinese people are also undergoing profound and positive changes, and public demand for participation in state affairs is rising rapidly.
The 18th CPC national congress comes at a crucial moment, as the Chinese economy is slowing after three decades of nearly double-digit growth.
According to a study conducted by a research team from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, Chinese policymakers will have to get used to an economy that expands by about 8% annually in the next decade, as former ultra-high economic growth will soon fade in the country.
Many people are afraid economic difficulties coupled with other challenges will hinder the CPC in fulfilling its mission to build China into an industrialised, prosperous society by 2020.
For the Chinese public, pressing tasks include curbing widespread food and drug safety problems and stopping the flagrant abuse of power and corruption among government officials and business people — issues that have triggered a series of protests across the country over the past years.
The sovereign debt crisis and massive economic restructuring in developed countries after the global financial crisis has brought uncertainty and volatility to the world in recent years, thus threatening China’s growth in a globalised world.