BEIJING – When President Xi Jinping in China spoke at a meeting on Tuesday to celebrate the country’s shift 40 years ago to a time of “reform and opening”, expectations were high that he should recount measures to revalue the economy and deter trade tensions with the United States and others.
The meeting commemorated a conciliation of the Communist Party leaders in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping and other veteran revolutionaries set China against market-friendly growth policy that eventually transformed the country into the world’s largest economy after the United States.
Instead, Xi Xi used the speech to defend policies he had forged in the last six years to make the Communist Party even stronger, strengthen the state sector in the economy while private business could grow and expand China’s stamp on international business.
Here are the main points from what he said and what they mean:
The Communist Party is responsible and “absolutely right”
Mr.. Xi spoke for his defense by the Communist Party as a designer and guardian of China’s prosperity and stability.
He has often done that case and when his predecessor, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, spoke on the 20th and 30th anniversary of the 1978 shift, they also gave ample room for promising the party. Nevertheless, Xi’s comments appeared prominent, especially when many investors had hoped for a more moderate message.
Summarizing what he described as the lessons of China’s last four decades, Xi said: “First, the leadership of all parties must be followed and the leadership of the party must be constantly strengthened and improved.”
If anyone is still looking for Xi to try to alleviate his hard reputation and reveal itself as a political liberal, he used this meeting to send a reprinted “no”. The party’s socialist path, doctrine and politics for the past 40 years, he said, had all been “completely correct”.
An olive branch in a budding cold war  Mr.. Xi simply referred to the elephant in space only: The United States trade war and the struggle for deteriorating relations have appealed to China’s economy.
“Nobody has the ability to dictate the Chinese people what should and should not be done,” he said with clear reference to Washington and other capitals claiming that China regrets some of its protectionist economic policies (although Chinese negotiators quietly has offered concessions).
He repeated China’s position on subjects such as Taiwan’s independence, which Beijing strongly opposes, but stressed that China was trying to promote peace, support international development, and strengthen international organizations that have helped shape and maintain today’s world order.
“China’s development will never be a threat to another country” Mr. Xi said. “No matter what level of development China reaches, it will never seek hegemony.”
Pay tribute to Marx and Lenin
In view of China’s marked market economy, China’s leaders have often played down the Communist Party in the Communist Party. Xi made clear how deeply committed he is to ideology itself – adapted “with Chinese characteristics” as the term goes.
In his comments, he raised Marxist-Leninist principles and also quoted Friedrich Engels to do the case for promoting new forms of innovation in the 21st century.
Mr. Xi’s message: China’s deepening of capitalism for the past 40 years was not a condemnation of the founding ideology of the Communist Party, but it was only possible because of it.
State and private ownership (but the state comes first)
The rise of the Xi century caused expectations of change as the government became increasingly concerned that private companies – the growth and innovation engine – have been demoralized by too much taxation, bureaucracy and barriers to bank loans.
Economists and investors have criticized Xi for giving what they consider to be too much protection against state-owned conglomerates.
But on Tuesday, these critics were probably disappointed because there was no specific or changing rhetoric.
Jack Ma, the multibillionaire founder of Alibaba, e-commerce giant, was among the 100 Chinese honored by Xi as “pioneers” of the reform. But in his speech, Xi confirmed the party’s dual approach: supporting the state sector and encouraging private entrepreneurs. And support for the state sector came first.
“On the way forward, we must consistently consolidate and develop the publicly owned economy,” said Xi, referring to the government sector.
China added, would also “encourage, support and control the development” of the private sector.