BEIJING -- Hu Jintao on Monday underlined endeavors by the past three generations of central collective leadership in founding and prospering the New China, and vowed to carry on the great cause of reform and opening up in the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Historic changes have taken place in the visages of the Chinese people, socialist China and the Communist Party of China (CPC) since 1978, when the Party ushered in the new historical period of reform and opening up, Hu said in his report to the 17th CPC National Congress on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.
He stressed that the course of reform and opening up, which is about to mark the 30th anniversary next year, was conducted on a foundation laid by the Party's first generation of central collective leadership with Mao Zedong at its core.
The Party's second generation of central collective leadership headed by Deng Xiaoping initiated the great course, which was carried on, developed and successfully carried into the 21st century by the Party's third generation of central collective leadership with Jiang Zemin at the core, Hu said.
Since the 16th Party congress five years ago, the reform and opening up have been carried forward in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, following the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the thought of Three Represents, he said.
Reform and opening up constitute the most salient feature of the new period, which witnessed rapid development, according to Hu.
"China's economy, once on the verge of collapse, now ranks as the fourth largest in the world, and its import and export volume becomes the third biggest. The Chinese people, once inadequately fed and clad, are leading a fairly comfortable life on the whole," Hu said.
"The impoverished population in rural areas has dropped from more than 250 million to just over 20 million," he added.
Hu said keeping up with the times is the most prominent hallmark in the new period, when the Party has been adapting Marxism to Chinese conditions while enriching its own basic theory.
Reform and opening up "accord with the aspirations of the Party membership and the people and keep up with the trend of the times. The orientation and path of reform and opening up are entirely correct," Hu said.
Hu called on the whole Party to continue to emancipate the mind, seek truth from facts, keep up with the times, make bold changes and innovations, stay away from rigidity or stagnation, fear no risks, never be confused by any interference, in the course of reform and opening up.