BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era, Xi Jinping said Wednesday at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
It will be an era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country, he said while delivering a report.
It will also be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind, he said.
The Chinese nation, which since modern times began had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation -- it has stood up, grown rich, and become strong, he said.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era means that scientific socialism is full of vitality in 21st century China, and that the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see, he said.
It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind, he said.
Xi said the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved into one "between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life."
The needs to be met for the people to live a better life are increasingly broad. Not only have their material and cultural needs grown; their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are increasing, he said.
Chinese socialism's entrance into a new era is, in the history of the development of the People's Republic of China and the history of the development of the Chinese nation, of tremendous importance, he said.
In the history of the development of international socialism and the history of the development of human society it is of tremendous importance, he said. h Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been the focus of all of the Party's theories and practice since reform and opening up began in the late 1970s.
"We must neither retrace our steps to the rigidity and isolation of the past, nor take the wrong turn by changing our nature and abandoning our system," Xi said.