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Reform and Opening Up Is Always Ongoing and Will Never End

Source: Xi Jinping The Governance of China Updated: 2020-10-09

Reform and Opening Up Is Always Ongoing and Will Never End* 


December 31, 2012 


Reform and opening up is a long-term and arduous cause, and people need to work on it generation after generation. We should carry out reform to improve the socialist market economy of China, and adhere to the basic state policy of opening up to the outside world. We must further reform in key sectors with greater political courage and vision, and forge ahead steadily in the direction determined by the Party's 18th National Congress. 

The past, the present, and the future are all interconnected. History is about the past, while the present is the history of the future. To implement the major propositions on reform and opening up raised at the 18th National Congress, we need to review reform and opening up, better understand its historical necessity, conscientiously master its laws, and firmly assume the responsibility of extending it. 

We must review and apply the useful experience we have gained in reform and opening up. 

First, reform and opening up is an in-depth revolution, and we must follow the correct direction and stay on the correct path. Regarding the issue of direction, we must keep a cool head. Our direction is to continuously promote the self-improvement and development of the socialist system, and stride forward with resolve on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. 

Second, reform and opening up is a cause that has never before been pursued. We must adopt the right methods and advance this cause through continuous exploration and practice. Wading across the river by feeling for the stones is a reform method with Chinese characteristics and in line with the prevailing conditions in China. Wading across the river by feeling for the stones, we can identify the laws that apply, and acquire knowledge in practice. Wading across the river by feeling for the stones and top-level design are two component factors for our reform effort. Reform and opening up in a region at a certain stage should be subject to top-level design; top-level design should be strengthened on the basis of progressive reform and opening up in the region at a certain stage. To continue reform and opening up, we need to strengthen our macroscopic thinking and top-level design, and make sure that reform is systematic, integrated and coordinated. At the same time, we must still encourage bold experiments and breakthroughs. 

Third, reform and opening up is a systematic project, which should be pushed forward in an all-round way with all kinds of reforms well coordinated. Reform and opening up is an in-depth and all-round social transformation. Every reform will have great impact on other reforms, and all reforms support each other and interact positively. We will promote both all-round progress and breakthroughs at key points, and form a strong force for the further advance of reform and opening up. 

Fourth, stability is a prerequisite for reform and development. We must make sure that reform, development and stability proceed in tandem. Social stability makes it possible for us to carry out reform and development which in turn provide a solid foundation for social stability. We should take into full consideration the momentum of reform, the speed of development, and the capacity of the general public to sustain change. And improvement of the people's wellbeing should be regarded as an important link in balancing reform, development and stability. 

Fifth, reform and opening up is a cause of the Chinese people. We must respect the people's pioneering spirit and advance this cause under the leadership of the Party. Every breakthrough and step forward in theory and practice that we make in this cause comes from the experience and wisdom of the people, so does every new thing we bring into being and develop, and every experience we gain. The more arduous the task of balancing reform, development and stability, the more we need to strengthen and improve the Party's leadership and maintain close ties between the Party and the people. We should be adept in formulating and implementing sound guidelines and policies and use them to direct the people forward, and be good at improving our policies through the work and experience of the people and their demands for development. We must ensure that more fruits of reform and development are shared by the people in a fairer way, and secure solid popular support for continuing reform and opening up. 

Reform and opening up is always an ongoing task and will never end. Without reform and opening up, China would not be what it is today, nor would it have the prospects for a brighter future. Problems occurring in reform and opening up can only be solved through reform and opening up. To advance reform and opening up, we must carry out the guidelines of the 18th National Congress, and follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of the Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development. In response to the call of the people and their expectations for further reform and opening up, we should build a social consensus, and promote reforms in all sectors in a coordinated way. 


Main points of the speech at the second group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee which Xi presided over. 

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)