BEIJING (Dec 18): President Xi Jinping said China would stick to its policy agenda, despite pressure from the US and others to allow more competition in its economic system and reduce support for state industry.

Xi told an audience of party officials, military leaders and entrepreneurs in a speech Tuesday that “no one is in the position to dictate to the Chinese people what should and should not be done.” The 80-minute address in Beijing was held to mark the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening Up campaign that unleashed the country’s economic boom under then leader Deng Xiaoping.

In remarks that ranged from the economy to the environment to Taiwan and the South China Sea, Xi presented his agenda as the logical outcome of the country’s post-1978 “reform era” and Chinese history more broadly. He reasserted his contention that the country had entered a “new era” under his leadership and was poised for a bigger role in world affairs.

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