Hu Jintao kicked off the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress at the Great Hall of The People in Beijing.
With anger mounting over corruption in China, the current president spent a significant amount of time addressing the issue, and said the party must work hard to maintain the trust of the people.
Here are the highlights from his about 90-minute speech.
"If we fail to handle this issue (corruption) well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state.
...Reform of the political structure is an important part of China's overall reform. We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out the reform of the political structure and make people's democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice."
Hu said while political reforms are necessary China will not imitate Western political systems."We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out the reform of the political structure, and make people's democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice. …"However, we will never copy a Western political system."
He also called for a deepening of intra party democracy and said policymakers need to "adhere to the principle of party exercising leadership over personnel management and promote party building in an innovative way."
He also said "we must widely consult with democratic societies and grass root systems."
During his speech Hu said that China will double its 2010 GDP by 2020. While the statistic seemed remarkable, Patrick Chovanec pointed out that while Hu's claim that China would double its GDP by 2020 seemed remarkable, it only "works out to a 7 percent annual growth rate".
In his speech, Hu Jinato said that China should also try to double its 2010 per capita income for urban and rural residents by 2020:
"We should raise the share of individual income in the distribution of national income and increase the share of work remuneration in primary distribution.
...We should improve the way in which income is distributed, protect lawful income, increase the income of low-income groups, adjust excessively high income, and prohibit illicit income."
The 18th Party Congress is expected to run from November 8 - 14. We expect the Central Committee to announce new memers of the politburo, the all-important politburo standing committee and the military commission by then.
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