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'Path of reform will be followed'

Updated: 2012-12-12 03:02
By Zhao Lei ( China Daily)

'Path of reform will be followed'
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, chats with people in Lianhuashan Park in Shenzhen during his inspection tour of Guangdong province from Friday to Tuesday.[Lan Hongguang / Xinhua]

Xi Jinping's first inspection tour as general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee sends an unmistakable signal that the new leadership is determined to deepen reforms and boost innovation, analysts said.

"The central committee of our Party made the right decision in starting reform and opening-up,'' Xi told residents and tourists in Shenzhen during a five-day tour of South China's Guangdong province.

"We will follow this proven path and continue to develop our country and improve living standards.

"We will promote reform in more fields," he said after laying a wreath in front of a statue of Deng Xiaoping.

After Deng initiated reform and opening-up in 1978, Shenzhen, then a small fishing village, and other places in Guangdong evolved into industrial and technological hubs.

Xi said he felt obliged to honor the history of reform and opening-up at the place that pioneered the historic cause.

"Our country's reform has entered a crucial and delicate stage, which requires us to have more political courage and wisdom and seize opportunities to enhance reforms in important sectors," Xi said during the tour, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"We must make sure reform and opening-up continue to move in the right direction. We must dare to resolve tough and risky issues.

"We should not fear breaking down theoretical or conceptual barriers and destroying the strongholds of vested interests," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

He also mentioned that the CPC will initiate a plan to adjust the political superstructure, based on investigation and research, to deepen reform.

Li Chengyan, a professor at Peking University's school of government, told China Daily that the visit was significant.

"Guangdong is like a symbol of China's modernization drive,'' Li said.

"It has three of the first four special economic zones in China and is regarded as the front line of reform and opening-up. Moreover, this year is the 20th anniversary of Deng's inspection tour to southern China, during which Guangdong was an important stop.

"Therefore, I think the reason Xi chose Guangdong as the first destination of his inspection tour after taking office as the Party's top leader is to show his determination to continue reform and opening-up."

The visit also signifies Xi's support for the province's achievements during the past 30 years.

Xi's route in Guangdong was almost identical to that of Deng, who visited Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan and Guangzhou in January and February 1992.

After Deng's tour, the socialist market economy was officially adopted by the Party and the government.

An editorial in the Takungpao newspaper in Hong Kong said the visit will inject new momentum into reform.

"Deng's inspection tour to Shenzhen in 1992 significantly advanced reform and opening-up and laid the foundation for China's rapid rise. So, likewise, the visit by Xi, in the footsteps of his predecessor, will definitely inject new momentum to reform and opening-up and result in groundbreaking transformation," it said.

"The benefits arising from the trip and its consequences will no doubt facilitate and accelerate China's modernization drive and national rejuvenation."

Guangdong is also the place where his father, the late Xi Zhongxun, achieved a remarkable feat in developing the economy and improving the standard of living when he was a top official in the province in the late 1970s.

During a visit to a fishing village in Shenzhen, Xi encouraged residents to continue on the path laid by Deng.

"He told us that we should stick to the blueprint made by Deng," said Huang Xingyan, a village head.

Footage from China Central Television's primetime news program shows Xi visiting a family and talking with villagers. In the village square, he affectionately lifted up a toddler to the delight of the crowd.

Deng Guohua, a villager whose family received Xi, said the new general secretary is easy-going and cares about people's lives.

"(When Xi) saw we are leading a good life, he smiled and looked happy. He was nice and unassuming when talking to us," Deng said.

Xi also paid particular attention to the innovation shown by manufacturers.

At the Guangdong Industrial Design City, an industrial park in Shunde, Xi inspected the exhibits featuring cutting-edge design.

"China's manufacturing industry has entered into a stage that needs transformation and upgrading, and during this process, the design sector plays a leading role," Han Fengqin, manager of the design conglomerate, told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television.

"So Xi coming here sends a strong signal that (the new leadership) attaches great importance to design and innovation."

The campaign against corruption will be a key point in the reform, Wu Hui, associate professor of Party building at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said. He added that the currently unbalanced system of income distribution is also a priority.

"For a long time the reform has been focusing on economic sectors, and in contrast, the political structural reform had been delayed," Ren Jianming, an anti-corruption expert in Beijing, said. "To launch political structural reform will encounter more difficulties and demands greater resolution and stronger will.

"From Xi's remarks and acts, and those of the new leadership as a whole, we can find that the new leaders are more open-minded and confident. They have been fully aware of the challenges and opportunities in front of them and the country, and they know their missions."

Contact the writers at zhaolei@chinadaily.com.cn

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