China will never seek hegemony: Xi

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Beijing, Dec 18 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday vowed that his country will not develop at the expense of other nations, in a speech marking 40 years of reform.

In his speech from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Xi said despite China’s growth, it would “never seek global hegemony” and also highlighted Beijing’s contributions towards a “shared future for mankind”, the BBC reported.

Late leader Deng Xiaoping’s campaign of “reform and opening up” was initiated in 1978 and the program was ratified on December 18 that year.

Xi spent much of his long speech listing examples of China’s progress over the past decades, praising them as “epic achievements that moved heaven and earth”.

He said that given its success, “no one is in a position to dictate to China what to do or not to do”.

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At the same time, he stressed what he described as Chinese efforts to work towards the greater global good, saying Beijing was a “promoter of world peace,” a “defender of international order” and holding “a leading role in dealing with climate change”.

Xi described Deng’s reforms as a “break from the shackles” of previous mistakes.

The reform path turned the country away from the old style communism of Mao Zedong when collectivisation had led to an impoverished and inefficient economy.

He said the last 40 years had been a “quantum leap for socialism with Chinese characteristics,” driving China’s “great rejuvenation in modern times”.

The transformation focussed on agricultural reform, private sector liberalisation, industry modernisation and opening to international trade, the BBC quoted the President as saying.

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–IANS

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