Xi calls on province to lead the drive for common prosperity
President Xi Jinping has called on Zhejiang province to play a leading role in the nation's common prosperity drive, saying that the eastern province should become an example showcasing the strength of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made a fact-finding trip to Jinhua and Shaoxing in Zhejiang on Wednesday.
He made the visit before hosting Asian leaders and attending the opening ceremony of the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, the provincial capital.
The fact-finding trip took him to a village, an international small-commodities market, an exhibition hall, and a culture park featuring the Grand Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
During his visit to Lizu, a village in Jinhua, Xi was delighted to learn that its annual per capita income had reached 52,000 yuan ($7,250) and expressed his hope that the villagers would make further efforts and achieve more results in advancing rural vitalization.
He later visited Yiwu International Trade Market in Jinhua, where he learned about the operation of the market and the China-Europe freight trains. Xi urged the trade market to contribute more to expanding markets at home and abroad as well as to smoothening domestic and international economic flows.
While visiting a canal culture park in Shaoxing, he stressed that culture related to the Grand Canal, the world's longest artificial waterway, is an important part of the fine traditional Chinese culture and demands proper protection, inheritance and utilization.
At a briefing on Thursday on the work of the provincial Party committee and the provincial government, Xi urged Zhejiang, a manufacturing powerhouse and leading innovation hub, to fully, accurately and comprehensively implement the new development philosophy and focus on building a new development pattern and promoting high-quality development.
Xi stressed the significance of strengthening the role of enterprises as the main drivers of technological innovation, deepening the integration of innovation, industry, funding and talent chains, and accelerating the commercial application of research outcomes.
The real economy should be seen as the foundation for building a modern industrial system, and more work must be done to guide and support the application of cutting-edge technologies in traditional sectors and promote the high-end, intelligent and green development of the manufacturing sector.
In Zhejiang, which is home to several of China's internet giants, the new economy, including new industries and business models, accounted for 28.1 percent of the province's GDP last year, according to the provincial bureau of statistics.
Going forward, Xi said Zhejiang should create strategic emerging industry and digital industry clusters with international competitiveness, while continuously improving the resilience and security of its industrial and supply chains.
In the pursuit of green and sustainable development, Xi urged Zhejiang, where he first put forward the concept that lush mountains and lucid waters are invaluable assets, to steadfastly promote the transformation of its development model toward ecological sustainability.
He stressed the establishment and improvement of an economic system characterized by green, low-carbon and circular development.
Xi also emphasized that the province should take the lead in promoting common prosperity by prioritizing steps to narrow the gaps between urban and rural areas, regions and income levels.
The province should pioneer the way in pursuing the opening-up of the services sector, digital development and environmental protection, he added.
Xi also reaffirmed the nation's commitment to unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the private sector, calling for steps to encourage private businesses to actively take part in the global economy and enhance their core competitiveness.
The private sector accounted for 67 percent of Zhejiang's GDP and 71.7 percent of its tax revenue last year, according to provincial authorities.
Xi called for the province to actively explore its role in building modern Chinese civilization, highlighting the need to better preserve the province's historical heritage and promote the creative transformation and innovative development of outstanding traditional culture.
The president also visited farmers at a pomegranate orchard in Zaozhuang, Shandong province, on his way back to Beijing.