The Financial Express

China must not be complacent: Xi Jinping tells parliament

| Updated: March 21, 2018 11:38:03

Xi Jinping laid out his grand vision for China's future. BBC/File Photo Xi Jinping laid out his grand vision for China's future. BBC/File Photo

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told the National People's Congress (NPC) that China must not become complacent about its development.

Speaking at the closing session of the annual parliament, Mr Xi said China was at a critical stage in its history and only socialism could save it.

He also warned against Taiwanese separatism or attempts to split China.

Mr Xi is now set up to be China's president for life, after the NPC removed a two-term limit.

The motion was overwhelmingly approved by the roughly 3,000 delegates at the start of the session.

The parliamentary session meets once a year. It essentially rubberstamps changes already decided by the leadership.

In his speech in the Great Hall of the People, Mr Xi laid out his grand vision for China, reconfirming his ambition to "rejuvenate" the country and continue China's "great contributions to civilisation".

The president also highlighted major achievements of Chinese history from the invention of paper and gunpowder to building the Great Wall or the writings of Confucius.

Pointing at China's global ambitions, Xi said his country would be strong but not aggressive and would not develop itself at the expense of the rest of the world.

The president's speech was followed by Premier Li Keqiang's annual news conference.

He stressed that Beijing wanted to co-operate with other countries based on market rules, and that its global trade efforts would be mutually beneficial.

Mr Li said China would further open up its economy and "ensure that both domestic and foreign firms" were "able to compete on fair terms in China's large market", reports BBC.

The premier's comments are a marked contrast to the recent protectionist rhetoric and threats of tariffs from the Trump administration in the US.

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