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Reception marks National Day
By Sun Shangwu (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-01 00:56

China will continue to push ahead political and economic reforms as well as enhance democracy and the rule of law, said Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday in Beijing.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao toasts to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949, during a reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing September 30, 2004. [Reuters]

In a speech to mark Friday's 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Wen also said China will "firmly oppose and contain the separatist forces in Taiwan."

As a country of 1.3 billion people with a relatively low economic development level, China must always make economic development its "central task" and try to solve problems through development, said Wen at the reception in the Great Hall of the People.

President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo and other top Chinese leaders attended the reception.

Guests also included Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Tung Chee-hwa, Macao SAR Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah and Cambodia's King Sihanouk.

Wen said that "a people-oriented approach must be followed, and efforts must be made to meet people's many-sided needs and promote the all-round development of man."

He promised to "open China wider to the outside world, adapt better to the changing world of economic globalization and technological revolution, and draw on all the useful achievements of human civilization."

The premier said that China will further improve its legal system, go about governance in accordance with law and build a socialist country based on the rule of law.

In his speech, Wen quoted an old Chinese saying, "worries and toil can help the rise of a country, whereas ease and complacency can ruin oneself," to urge officials and people to work hard and live plainly for a long time to come.

He pledged to take tougher action against corruption.

"We must carry out the fight against corruption in a more intensive manner and severely punish the guilty parties," he said.

"We must address both the symptoms and the root causes of corruption, and take a comprehensive approach to prevent the problem from happening," he added.

Wen said that China will stick to its path of peaceful development and will "never seek hegemony."

On cross-Straits relations, Wen said that China will continue to follow the basic policy of "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan, but "firmly oppose and contain the separatist forces in Taiwan, and unswervingly safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"The sacred goal of complete national reunification must be achieved. It shall be achieved in the end," said Wen to long and loud applause.

"The 55 years of glory have given us an important and fundamental conclusion: China must follow the path of independently building socialism with Chinese characteristics under the firm leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, basing itself on its own national conditions and getting along with the trends of world development," said Wen.

In another 45 years, China will be marking the centenary of the People's Republic, according to Wen.

By then, China, a country with one sixth of the world's population, will have basically achieved modernization and realized the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, he said.

"This will be a major contribution of the Chinese people to the progress of mankind," he said.

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