BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visited on Monday afternoon national political advisors from the China National Democratic Construction Association (CNDCA) and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), who are attending the first session of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Xi participated in their joint panel discussion and heard their comments and suggestions. He stressed that the CPC Central Committee always stays committed to unswervingly consolidating and developing the public sector of the economy, and at the same time unswervingly encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sector of the economy. The non-public sector's status and functions in the country's economic and social development have not changed, the principle and policies to unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the sector have not changed, and the principle and policies to provide a sound environment and more opportunities to the sector have not changed. The CPC Central Committee has always considered private enterprises and private entrepreneurs as being in our ranks. Efforts should be made to guide private enterprises and private entrepreneurs to understand the principles and policies of the CPC Central Committee, and boost their confidence and unburden them of their worries, so that they can ambitiously pursue development, and therefore the healthy, high-quality development of the private sector can be achieved.
Ahead of International Women's Day, which is celebrated on March 8, Xi, on behalf of the CPC Central Committee, extended holiday greetings and best wishes to female deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC), female members of the CPPCC National Committee, and female staff of the two sessions. Greetings and best wishes were also extended to women from all ethnic groups and sectors of society on the Chinese mainland, to female compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, in Taiwan, and overseas.
Those who joined Xi in the visit and the discussion included Wang Huning, who is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and presides over the meetings of the presidium of the first session of the 14th CPPCC National Committee, and Cai Qi and Ding Xuexiang, also members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
During the joint panel discussion, CPPCC members Zeng Yuqun, Xie Dong, Liu Zhendong, Chen Xiaoping, Xie Ru and Sun Dongsheng made remarks regarding topics on developing a globally competitive new energy industry, providing financial support for scientific and technological innovation, creating a better environment for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting the high-quality development of platform economy, advancing the revitalization of rural industries, and how to give full play to the strengths and vitality of the private sector.
Xi made an important speech after listening carefully to the members. He said he was pleased to visit and have discussions with national political advisors from the CNDCA and the ACFIC. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, he extended sincere greetings to those who were present, to members of the CNDCA and the ACFIC and individuals from the non-public sector of the economy, and to all CPPCC members.
Xi stressed that the year 2022 was an extremely crucial year of great importance in the history of the CPC and the country. Faced with high winds and choppy waters in the international environment and multiple greater-than-expected factors at home, with all the Chinese people meeting difficulties head-on and striving in unity, we secured some accomplishments of major significance and far-reaching influence, resulting in substantial achievements in advancing the cause of the Party and the country.
The CPC successfully convened its 20th National Congress, drawing an ambitious blueprint for building a modern socialist country in all respects. We overcame difficulties and challenges including the COVID-19 epidemic, and safely and successfully hosted the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled. We dynamically optimized and adjusted the measures and policies for COVID-19 prevention and control, securing a smooth transition within a relatively short period of time. As a result, China's mortality rate of COVID-19 has been kept at the lowest level globally. We have scored a major and decisive victory in our response to COVID-19. We fully and faithfully applied the new development philosophy on all fronts and focused on fostering a new development pattern and promoting high-quality development. While the global inflation reached a new high in over four decades, consumer prices in China remained stable in general. China's economic growth for the whole year was 3 percent, which is quite high among major economies in the world. All these achievements did not come easily.
Xi pointed out that the past five years since the 19th CPC National Congress have been truly momentous and extraordinary. The external environment for China's development has changed drastically, with uncertainties and unexpected factors increasing remarkably. In particular, Western countries headed by the United States have contained, encircled and suppressed China in an all-round way, bringing unprecedentedly severe challenges to China's development. At the same time, China has also faced various difficulties such as the resurging COVID-19 epidemic and the mounting downward pressure facing the domestic economy.
Adhering to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability, we have met obstacles and difficulties head on and responded to them calmly, remained unswayed by fallacies, not cowed by pressure or hardships. China's GDP registered an annual growth rate of 5.2 percent over the past five years. We won the critical battle against poverty as scheduled and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus attaining the First Centenary Goal, achieving impressive advances in the cause of the Party and the country, and taking China on a new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects. The achievements of the past five years should be attributed to the concerted efforts of the whole Party and the Chinese people, as well as to the contribution of the CPPCC members.
Xi stressed that, in the face of profound and complex changes in the international and domestic environment, we must remain calm, maintain firm resolve, pursue progress while ensuring stability, demonstrate enterprise in our work, unite as one, and have the courage to carry on our fight. To remain calm and maintain firm resolve means to keep a cool head in observing the profound changes in the international landscape, and calmly respond to various risks and challenges. We should accurately identify, soundly respond to, and actively steer changes, and timely optimize and adjust our strategies and policies. At the same time, we should maintain firm strategic resolve, stay tenacious, never be afraid of any risks, and move forward firmly toward the established strategic plans. To sustain progress while ensuring stability and demonstrate enterprise in our work means to maintain stability in our general direction, principles and polices, as well as strategic plans. On the basis of securing our foundation and position, we must forge ahead vigorously, move forward as fast as possible and strive for the best possible results.
We should unite as one and have the courage to carry on our fight as we draw our strengths from unity. Over the years, we have encountered various risks, challenges and battles one after another, and have overcome every one of them with all the people striving in unity and fighting tenaciously. In the near future, we will only face more and increasingly serious risks and challenges. Only when all the people work together with one heart and one mind, unite as one, and have the courage and ability to carry out our fight, will we continue to win new and greater victories.
Xi pointed out that the private sector is an important force for our Party to maintain its long-term governance and to unite and lead the people of all ethnic groups to realize the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. We always regard private enterprises and private entrepreneurs as being in our ranks, giving them support when they are in difficulties and offering them guidance when they are uncertain about what to do. We should improve the development environment for private enterprises, remove the institutional obstacles that prevent them from fairly participating in market competition, and safeguard the property rights of private enterprises and the rights and the interests of private entrepreneurs according to law. We should substantiate the requirement that state-owned enterprises and their private counterparts should be treated equally through institutional arrangements and legal guarantee to encourage and support the development of the private sector and growth of private enterprises, and boost market expectations and confidence.
It is necessary to give full play to the important role of private enterprises in stabilizing employment and boosting income, take more effective measures to support the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed individuals, and support the platform companies to play an active role in creating jobs, expanding consumption and competing in the global market. Work should be done to fully establish a cordial and clean relationship between government and businesses, and resolve concerns and difficulties for private companies and private entrepreneurs, so that they could be given a free hand and concentrate on development with no worries. It is also necessary to strengthen theoretical and political guidance, help private companies and private entrepreneurs properly perceive the Party Central Committee's principles and policies of unswervingly consolidating and developing the public sector, unswervingly encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sector, as well as promoting the healthy growth of the non-public sector of the economy and encouraging those working in this sector to achieve success, so that they can let go of misgivings, be unburdened and develop with courage.
Xi stressed that the pursuit of high-quality development places higher requirements on the private sector. Private enterprises should put into practice the new development philosophy, thoroughly understand the shortcomings existing in and challenges faced by the private sector, so that they can transform their growth model, adjust industrial structure and shift to new growth drivers, stick to the main business, strengthen their industries and consciously take the path of high-quality development. Those who have the ability and the conditions should strengthen self-dependent innovation to play a greater role in promoting sci-tech self-reliance and strength and the application of sci-tech achievements.
Efforts should be made to unleash the vitality of private investment, and encourage and attract more private capital to take part in the development of major projects and programs in key industrial and supply chains, enabling such capital to make a greater contribution to fostering a new development pattern and promoting high-quality development. Work should be done to regulate and guide the sound development of all types of capital in accordance with law, and effectively prevent and defuse systematic financial risks, with the goal of creating an environment for enterprises under all forms of ownership to compete equally and grow together.
Xi pointed out that Chinese modernization is meant to realize common prosperity for all Chinese people. Both state-owned enterprises and their private counterparts are important forces for promoting common prosperity. Both should take their social responsibilities in this regard. He called on private entrepreneurs to strengthen their sentiment and concern for the country and the people, and consciously apply people-centered development philosophy, and have a strong sense of responsibility and mission to help others get rich and promote common prosperity.
Xi said that private enterprises should strive to build harmonious internal labor relations and foster an employees' community with shared interest, making sure that the achievements of private enterprises' development can equally benefit all staff members. He underlined the requirement that private enterprises and private entrepreneurs should adhere to the bottom line that their business operations must be in compliance with law and regulations, carry forward the fine spirit of entrepreneurship, and act as patriotic and dedicated role models who always abide by law in business operations, actively start up businesses while seeking innovation, and repay the society. Private enterprises and private entrepreneurs are called on to pass on and further develop traditional Chinese virtues, actively join in and initiate social charities, being responsible, righteous and benevolent while being wealthy.
Shi Taifeng, He Lifeng, Hao Mingjin, Gao Yunlong and others were present. ■