The much-anticipated 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) commenced in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Sunday, amid considerable domestic and international attention.
At the opening of the five-yearly gathering, Xi Jinping delivered a comprehensive report in the presence of over 2,000 delegates representing over 96 million CPC members nationwide, highlighting past remarkable achievements and defining the course of action for the next five years and beyond.
In his passionate address spanning nearly two hours, Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, set the tone for striving in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts.
Expounding on the goals of the Party on the new journey of the new era, Xi said the key task of the CPC will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization.
As with Xi's previous major public speeches, this one, too, emphasized the significance of a people-centered development strategy, which is in tune with the spirit of the CPC.
Undoubtedly, the CPC leadership has been the determining factor behind China's remarkable achievements.
In the preceding decade, the CPC has led the Chinese people to three historical accomplishments that will have a significant impact on the globe.
In Xi's words: "We embraced the centenary of the Communist Party of China; we ushered in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and we eradicated absolute poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the First Centenary Goal."
The achievements of the past decade in China demonstrate not just the dedication of the Party and the government to guide the country through incredible progress, but also the CPC's long-standing commitment to enhancing the lives of the Chinese people.
An overview of the report Xi delivered indicates that China's socialist democracy, specifically the whole-process people's democracy, efficiently protects the fundamental interests of the people.
China's governance mechanism is also dynamic since the CPC has continued to adapt to the shifting needs of the people and has endeavored to meet their desires.
The basic objective of the Party in fostering economic and social growth has always been to address the needs of the people for a better life.
Consequently, unswerving efforts have been made to address practical issues of public concern, such as employment, education, social security, health care, housing, elderly care, food safety and public security.
China's commitment to its foreign policy goals of protecting world peace and advancing common development is also reaffirmed in the report, providing greater reassurance to the international community.
China continues to steadfastly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, as without peace and harmony all other development initiatives will be futile.
It has always taken a principled stance on geopolitical issues and stayed committed to respecting the norms of international relations and defending international fairness and justice.
China has never meddled in the internal affairs of other countries or employed military action against any nation, and it is a major force of peace in the geopolitical landscape.
History is a testament to the fact that China has never or will never pursue hegemony or engage in expansionism; its preferred approach is constructive engagement, instead of the use of force.
However, Xi made no bones about the importance of protecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the report submitted to the 20th CPC National Congress.
This is understandable given the importance placed on national security as a cornerstone of the country's endeavor toward national rejuvenation.
As Xi vowed to unswervingly advance the cause of national reunification, he drew resounding and long applause from the delegates.
Such an impassioned response demonstrates that there is not the slightest doubt about the resolve and determination of China to realize national reunification and that it will be accomplished.
As the delegates now plunge into examining the report and other agenda items over the course of the week, policy observers across the world will closely watch the Party congress as the influence of China's policies extends far beyond the country's borders.