China's President Hu says crisis response working

Other News Materials 18 December 2008 08:50 (UTC +04:00)

China's efforts to counter the global economic downturn are working, President Hu Jintao said on Thursday in a speech celebrating 30 years of reforms while vowing no backdown from Communist Party control, Reuters reported.

Hu's speech to ranks of officials seated in the Great Hall of the People was a pep talk for a country beset by slowing growth and rising joblessness, as exports shrink in the face of recession in the United States and Europe.

He said China had "achieved positive results in responding to the international financial crisis," but also that the country needed to continue its difficult balance of market reforms and top-down political control.

"We must draw on the beneficial fruits of humankind's political civilization, but we will never copy the model of the Western political system," Hu said in a speech larded with Party slogans and salutes to past leaders.

But Hu also said the country owed three decades of growth to Deng Xiaoping's reforms that tore away the rigid controls of Mao Zedong's time, gradually opening the economy to private and foreign investment.

China would continue "advancing the cause of reform and opening up," Hu said.

"We have constantly expanded opening to the outside and this has allowed our country to successfully achieve the great historic transformation from a semi-closed one to a fully open one," he said.

His speech celebrated China's success since 1978, when a Party leadership meeting agreed to focus on economic development after decades of turmoil and isolation under Mao.

But that success is under strain from the global economic downturn that has abruptly slowed growth and lifted joblessness, as export-driven factories either curtail production or shut down.

Exports shrank 2.2 percent from their year-earlier level in November, the first monthly fall in many years, underlining the danger of increasing social stability, a primary concern of the Communist leadership.