The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened at 9 AM on Wednesday 18th October at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The 19th Congress will summarize the achieved goals carried out by the 18th CPC in the last five years (the last congress occurred in 2012) and lays the foundations for the next five years.

In his speech in front of the 2.280 delegates who are taking part in the Congress, President Xi Jinping said: "The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation".

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The theme of the Congress

The theme of the congress is to "Remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind, hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

We will unite the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and lead them to a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and in the drive to secure the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era" Xi said while delivering a report.

China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development. The prospects are bright but the challenges are severe", he said.

For Xi Jinping "China's socialist democracy is the broadest, most genuine, and most effective democracy to safeguard the fundamental interests of the people. We should not just mechanically copy the political systems of other countries," he said.

"Party leadership is the fundamental guarantee for ensuring that the people run the country and governance in China is law-based; that the people run the country is an essential feature of socialist democracy, and law-based governance is the basic way for the Party to lead the people in governing the country", Xi said.

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Modernisation of national defence

Xi also said "The Communist Party of China will strive to fully transform the people's armed forces into a world-class military by the mid-21st century. By the year 2020, mechanization will be basically achieved, with IT application coming a long way and strategic capabilities seeing a big improvement. The modernization of the national defense and armed forces [VIDEO] should be basically completed by 2035".

In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, the CPC will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernization is basically realized, according to the plan.

In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, the CPC will, building on having basically achieved modernization, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful, according to the plan.

The twice-a-decade congress will last until October 24th.