China's President Xi Jinping vowed on Tuesday to push ahead with the country's "reform and opening up" but warned that no one can "dictate" what it does, as the Communist Party celebrated the policy's 40th anniversary.
While he pledged to press forward with the economic reforms initiated under late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in December 1978, Xi indicated that there would be no change to the one-party system.
"The great banner of socialism has always been flying high over the Chinese land," Xi said in a speech at Beijing's imposing Great Hall of the People.
TRT World spoke with political analyst Phar Kim Benkg for his views.
'Opening brings progress'
"The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics," he said.
His speech came as China faces stern challenges from the United States on trade and diplomatic fronts.
"No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done," Xi said.
"We must resolutely reform what should and can be changed, we must resolutely not reform what shouldn't and can't be changed."
"Opening brings progress while closure leads to backwardness," he added.
China-US trade war
China's heavy support of its sprawling state sector has been a point of contention with the United States.
The trade war has spurred some Chinese entrepreneurs, government advisers and think tanks to call for faster economic reforms and the freeing up of a private sector stifled by state controls and struggling to gain access to credit.
Xi and US President Donald Trump agreed early this month to a 90-day truce in the trade dispute, which halted the threatened escalation of punitive tariffs while the two sides continue negotiations.
In his speech, Xi enumerated the accomplishments of China's development.
"Grain coupons, cloth coupons, meat coupons, fish coupons, oil coupons, tofu coupons, food ticket books, product coups and other documents people once could not be without have now been consigned to the museum of history," he said.
"The torments of hunger, lack of food and clothing, and the hardships which have plagued our people for thousands of years have generally gone and won't come back."
Numerous luminaries in attendance were cited for their contributions to China's economic reforms including the heads of online giants Alibaba, Tencent Holdings and Baidu and carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings.