One year leading up to the 30th anniversary of the China's launch of reforms and opening-up, a top Party official on Monday hailed the initiative, saying that "to stop or reverse reform and opening-up would only lead to a blind alley”.
Addressing the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which started on Monday, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Hu Jintao said historic changes have taken place, transforming the living standards of the Chinese people, socialist China and the Party.
President Hu attributed the accomplishments made so far to the efforts of the Party's previous three generations of central collective leadership with Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin at the helm.
Hu said sweeping reforms have created a growing momentum from the countryside to the cities and from the economy to other areas.
It has "brought about China's historic transformation from a highly centralized planned economy to a robust socialist market economy, and from a closed or semi-closed state to all-round opening up," said Hu.
However, he warned that as a great new revolution, reforms and opening up are not simple or to be accomplished overnight.
"The path of reforms and opening up are entirely correct, and their merits and achievements can never be negated," said Hu. "To stop or reverse reforms and opening-up would only lead to a blind alley."
While calling on the whole Party to continue the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Hu said it constitutes a system of scientific theories, including Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thoughts of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development and other major strategic ideas.
Hu's remarks came amid mixed discussion of the country's reforms and opening up over more than two decades.
Wang Yukai, an expert with the prominent think-tank National School of Administration, forecast prior to the congress that the most important role of the congress is to unify opinions on the country's development, reach consensus and set out goals and the path for the future.
Although the country has become the world's fourth biggest economy, China is now facing a slate of social issues marked by corruption, widening income gap and inadequate public service distribution.
Some retired Party leaders including former CPC Central Committee General Secretary Jiang Zemin and CPC Central Committee Standing Committee members Li Peng and Zhu Rongji attended the congress as specially invited delegates.