Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned other nations against dictating to Beijing, also pledging that China will never pursue hegemony.
"No one is in a position to dictate to the Chinese people what should or should not be done. We will resolutely reform what can and needs to be reformed, and we will resolutely uphold what cannot and does not need to be changed", Xi underscored in a speech marking the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening Up Policy.
Claiming that China is "increasingly approaching the centre of the world stage", Xi also noted that Beijing pursues a defensive national policy.
"China's development does not pose a threat to any country. No matter how far China develops, it will never seek hegemony", he pointed out.
Xi also touted the governing Communist Party's current strategy as "absolutely correct", and focused on the government’s achievements, recalling, in particular, that foodstuff coupons and other documents "people once could not be without have now been consigned to the museum of history".
"The torments of hunger, lack of food and clothing, and the hardships which have plagued our people for thousands of years have generally gone and won't come back", he emphasized.
The statement came as Beijing remains embroiled in a trade spat with Washington which escalated after US President Donald Trump slapped 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in an attempt to tackle the US-Chinese trade deficit. Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of trade duties against each other.