China has "entered a new era," according to Chinese President Xi Jinping. During his speech kicking off the Communist Party Congress on Oct. 18, Xi hailed the country's progress on socio-economic and diplomatic fronts over the past five years, including urbanization, developments in agriculture and infrastructure, regional rebalance, the commencement of the Belt and Road initiative and island reclamation in the South China Sea. Xi laid out key reform priorities for the coming years as well, calling for more market-based reforms on interest rates and currencies, and continued reforms on state-owned sectors, among others.
But the president also underscored "severe challenges" awaiting the Chinese Communist Party. Besides grandiose calls for unification with Taiwan, continued control over Macau and Hong Kong and long-term modernization, Xi made particular note of the fact that the "Principal Contradiction" facing China has changed. ...
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