Highlights: Excerpts of Hu Jintao's speech to China Party congress
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party began a congress on Thursday at which President Hu Jintao will give up his position as head of the party to his anointed successor, Vice President Xi Jinping.
In a speech at the Great Hall of the People, Hu lauded three decades of growth, which have raised China to become the world's second-largest economy after the United States and lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens out of poverty, and laid out priorities and challenges for the future.
Below are highlights of Hu's speech:
* POLITICAL REFORM:
"The reform of the political structure is an important part of China's overall reform. We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out the reform of the political structure, and make people's democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice."
"At present, as the global, national and our Party's conditions continue to undergo profound changes, we are faced with unprecedented opportunities for development as well as risks and challenges unknown before.
"We must aim higher and work harder and continue to pursue development in a scientific way, promote social harmony and improve the people's lives so as to complete the glorious and arduous tasks bestowed on us by the times."
"On the basis of making China's development much more balanced, coordinated and sustainable, we should double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents (by 2020).
"We should firmly maintain the strategic focus of boosting domestic demand, speed up the establishment of a long-term mechanism for increasing consumer demand, unleash the potential of individual consumption, increase investment at a proper pace, and expand the domestic market."
* ECONOMIC REFORMS:
"We should step up efforts to transform to a new growth model and work hard to improve the quality and efficiency of the economy.
"We will give more support to promote development in western provinces and rural areas.
"We will continue to deepen our economic system reform and stick to the policy of expanding domestic demand.
"We will continue to encourage domestic companies to accelerate their steps to make outbound investments."
(Reporting by Beijing bureau; Compiled by Jason Subler; Editing by Ken Wills)
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