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Xi Jinping: China will never seek global economic dominance

By
Allen Cone
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech Tuesday during a celebration meeting of the 40th anniversary of China's reform at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo by Wu Hong/EPA
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech Tuesday during a celebration meeting of the 40th anniversary of China's reform at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo by Wu Hong/EPA

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- President Xi Jinping said China will "never seek global hegemony" -- the dominance at the expense of others -- during a speech Tuesday marking the Asian nation's economic reform enacted 40 years ago.

Despite becoming the second largest economy in the world, the leader doesn't want to push its economic policies on other nations but rather foster a "shared future for mankind."

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But he warned his nation won't be told what to do by others.

"No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done," Xi said in Mandarin Chinese during the speech.

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China's president, who assume power in 2012 and no longer is bound by term limits, gave his speech in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, where political reforms attempts were stopped by the military in 1989.

He wants China to "stay the course" in economic reform.

"What to reform and how to go about the reform must be consistent with the overarching goal of improving and developing the system of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and modernizing China's system and capacity for governance," he said. "We will resolutely reform what should and can be reformed, and make no change where there should and cannot be any reform."

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During his 1 1/2-hour speech, Xi gave examples of China's "reform and opening up" over the 40 years, praising them as "epic achievements that moved heaven and Earth."

Recognized were 100 "reform pioneers" and 10 recipients of the "China Friendship Medal." They included Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Tencent CEO Pony Ma, retired NBA basketball player Yao Ming, former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg and Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum that runs annual conferences in Davos, Switzerland and China.

Deng Xiaoping initiated China's economic reform in 1978 as president.

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"The past 40 years eloquently prove that China's development provides a successful experience and offers a bright prospect for other developing countries as they strive for marketization," he added, in noting the growth of the private sector.

Xi said the reforms were a "break from the shackles" of previous mistakes.

He highlighted the rapid growth of Shenzhen and China's coastal cities, and international changes by joining the World Trade Organization and cooperation on the belt and road initiative.

China's president didn't directly mention the current trade dispute with the United States that has led to both nations enacting tariffs.

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On Dec. 1, President Donald Trump agreed not to increase tariffs for 90 days to reach a compromise.

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