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Chinese President Xi Jinping touts successes of 'socialism' at Communist Party Congress

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening session of the Chinese Communist Party's five-yearly Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18, 2017.
Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening session of the Chinese Communist Party's five-yearly Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18, 2017.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday stressed the benefits of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" at the beginning of the Communist Party's once-every-five-year Party Congress.

The president told the assembled members of the party that his nation's prospects are bright, but it faces severe challenges. He proceeded to lay out his vision for a socialist future.

"We will unite the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and lead them to a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and in the drive to secure the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era," he said, according to a translation from China Daily.

Xi touted the success of China in recent years during the address, including what he characterized as overwhelming momentum for his anti-corruption campaign.

Under Xi, Beijing has waged a relentless fight against deep-rooted graft since assuming power five years ago, with more than one million officials punished and dozens of former senior officials jailed.

The president also claimed during his address that China will let the market play a decisive role in resource allocation in the economy. Beijing has called for a greater role for market forces in the economy in order to improve efficiency and develop a more sustainable growth model, but some have been skeptical of its progress on that front.

On the economic policy front, Xi also said Beijing will push mergers and acquisitions for state-owned assets, it will expand market access for the services sector, and it will deepen financial reform. He also said the country will deepen its market-oriented reform of exchange and interest rates.

China, Xi said, will continue to open up to the world, including relaxing market access for foreign investment.

The president also highlighted Beijing's firm opposition to Taiwan independence over the last five years.

The full title of Xi's working report that he presented Wednesday is "Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era."

—The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.