The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), held from November 8 to 14, has drawn worldwide attention for a host of reasons: The CPC is the world's largest political party, boasting more than 80 million members; it has been the ruling party in China for 63 consecutive years, one of the longest in office; and under its leadership, China has made extraordinary progress, especially since the late 1970s. More importantly, the congress and its first plenary session have elected a new top echelon of leaders—a seven-member standing committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, which will lead China in the following decade.
The 18th CPC National Congress was held at a time when China is faced with fast-changing and increasingly complex domestic and international issues. While the country has been able to maintain a rapid and prosperous development during the past 30 years or so, it has run up against a series of daunting challenges in the course of its economic and social transition, such as a widening individual income gap, deteriorating environmental conditions, rampant corruption, as well as security threats from outside. With all these and other problems posing as roadblocks to the nation's future development, the ruling Party needs more than ever to come up with an entirely new set of effective strategies to cope with each and every one of them.
In this respect, the just concluded CPC congress is rightly hailed as a very important and successful event for the Party and the nation it leads. Notably, it has unanimously decided to deepen the nation's reforms by setting a number of grand goals in a wide spectrum of areas. These include transforming China's economic growth model, doubling people's income, pursuing ecological development, launching political reforms, and building up the nation's cultural power. Given the major role that China now plays in the world economic and political arenas as a developing giant, many of those strategies adopted at the congress may bear profound and long-lasting global significance.
Meeting the press at the close of the First Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping, the new Party General Secretary, highlighted the responsibilities of the newly formed CPC leadership and put forth priorities to fulfill the goals mapped out at the congress. His frank and to-the-point remarks were well received, and viewed by some as a preview of his mission. To live up to the earnest expectations of the whole Party and the Chinese people, Xi and his colleagues now must be determined and perseverant while bringing their courage, wisdom and vision into full play.
It is highly anticipated that through collective and concerted efforts, this new and younger generation of top CPC leadership will carry forward the lofty mission entrusted with them of bringing a brighter future to China and to the world.