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Key highlights from Xi Jinping's opening speech at China's Communist Party Congress

Key highlights from Xi Jinping's opening speech at China's Communist Party Congress

Key highlights from Xi Jinping's opening speech at China's Communist Party Congress
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By CNBCTV18.com Oct 16, 2022 1:25:19 PM IST (Updated)

In his speech at the 20th Communist Party Congress, President Xi Jinping spoke on a range of issues — from national security to Taiwan to COVID-control policy. Details here.

The 20th congress of China’s ruling Communist party began on Sunday. In his opening speech that last less than two hours, President Xi Jinping spoke on a range of issues — from national security to Taiwan to COVID-control policy. Here are some key takeaways from Xi's address at the Great Hall of the People on the west side of Tiananmen Square.

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On Taiwan
Xi said, "Resolving the Taiwan issue is the Chinese people's own business, and it is up to the Chinese people to decide." He added China will never renounce the right to use force but will strive for a peaceful resolution.
"We have resolutely waged a major struggle against separatism and interference, demonstrating our strong determination and ability to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose Taiwan's independence," Xi said.
China considers democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory. Tensions between the two nations escalated in August after China staged war games near Taiwan in retaliation to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei.
China's fight against COVID
Xi touted China's fight against COVID-19. "We have adhered to the supremacy of the people and the supremacy of life, adhered to dynamic zero-COVID ... and achieved major positive results in the overall prevention and control of the epidemic, and economic and social development," Xi said.
On building military and security
Xi speech mentioned "safety" or "security" 73 times. He said China will accelerate the building of world-class military and strengthen its ability to build a strategic deterrent capability.
He further called for strengthening the ability to maintain national security, ensuring food and energy supplies, securing supply chains, improving the ability to deal with disasters and protecting personal information.
On economy
"We must build a high-level socialist market economic system... unswervingly consolidate and develop the public ownership system, unswervingly encourage and support the development of the private economy, give full play to the decisive role of the market in the allocation of resources, and give better play to the role of the government," Xi said in his speech.
Emphasising that the next five years will be crucial for building a modern socialist power in China, Xi said, "...let the market play a decisive role in resource allocation".
On ageing population and birth rate
Xi said China will enact policies to boost its birth rate. "We will establish a policy system to boost birth rates and pursue a proactive national strategy in response to population ageing," Xi told some 2,300 delegates in the once-in-five-year Communist Party Congress in Beijing.
Policymakers worry that an imminent decline in China's population could hurt the world's second-biggest economy. China has 1.4 billion people, the most in the world. However, its births are set to fall to record lows this year, demographers say, dropping below 10 million from last year's 10.6 million babies - already down 11.5 percent from 2020.
China had imposed a one-child policy from 1980 to 2015, later switching to a three-child policy, acknowledging the nation is on the brink of a demographic downturn.
On protecting environment
China will give priority to environmental protection and promoting green lifestyles, and the conservation of nature was an essential part of building a modern socialist country, the Chinese president said on Sunday.
Xi said China had made progress in tackling environmental problems over the last 10 years and vowed to "basically eliminate" heavy air and water pollution while bringing soil contamination under control.
On Hong Kong
Xi lauded the Communist Party taking control of the situation in Hong Kong, which was rocked by anti-government protests in 2019. He said China has achieved comprehensive control over Hong Kong, turning it from "chaos to governance".
He said China must ensure Hong Kong is ruled by patriots and that it will support Hong Kong in integrating with the mainland. "One country, two systems" is the best system for Hong Kong and must be adhered to in the long run, Xi said.
On global politics
Xi said Beijing opposed a "Cold War mentality" in international diplomacy, though made no mention of frayed relations with the United States.
"China...resolutely opposes all forms of hegemony and power politics, opposes the Cold War mentality, opposes interfering in other countries’ domestic politics, opposes double standards," Xi said, claiming Beijing "will never seek hegemony and will never engage in expansion".
(With inputs from agencies)
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