Beijing: Socialism with Chinese characteristics does not mean "halting reforms", said a state-run daily after President Hu Jintao`s report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that it said provides "direction for China`s political path".
Global Times on Friday ran an article titled "Congress report clears cloud over future", which admitted that it was not easy for laypeople to fully understand the report to the ongoing Congress.
It then pointed to a sentence in the report which "left quite an impression".
"Throughout the past 30-plus years of continuous exploration of reform and opening-up, we have held high the great banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics and rejected both the old and rigid closed-door policy and any attempt to abandon Socialism and take an erroneous path."
Interpreting that sentence, the daily said: "The literal meaning of the sentence is very clear, yet it implies deeper connotations. With the progress of social diversity, there is more debate over the development path of our country. This report from the Congress is an authoritative answer to these debates. It can be viewed as a declaration by the CPC."
The article said that it was common to hear China is at a political crossroads, however "it does not coincide with China`s current reality".
"As early as the Deng Xiaoping era when China chose to carry out socialism with Chinese characteristics, China passed its `crossroads`. Modern China is on its way toward further reform. We need firm belief to keep going on," it said.
It added that going through online media one "may get the false impression that China`s development path may change. Such opinions seem to be popular, with some requesting that China go back to the time before the reform and opening-up, while others advocate the country adopt Western models. They have spread confusion".
"The Congress report provides the very direction for China`s political path. When the direction is too clear to accommodate any speculation, other distractions will lose their potency and public opinion will be more realistic," it stressed.
The daily was quick to add that "progressing Socialism with Chinese characteristics does not mean halting reforms. Actually, this is the result of keeping reforms in mind and rejecting closed-door policies".
It went on to say that a small number of people would like to see China return to the pre-reform days, and others want to separate reform from the socialist path with Chinese characteristics. They try to put the two ideas in opposition.
"The `reform` in their message has hidden meaning, including the intention of changing the country`s political system," it explained.
In an accommodative tone, the daily said: "We have different views, including extreme ones, and all deserve their place in China."
"But we must have a firm consensus when it comes to the national path. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is not an official slogan. It is a long-term political path Chinese people finally took after they paid a huge price. It has brought us prosperity and hope. We must cherish and protect it," it added.
The article pointed out that firmness and conviction are crucial for China`s future development.
"We need timely adjustments based on realistic conditions. This is, however, different from questioning the road itself. China is a super-sized society. We will be bound to meet tough issues and unexpected challenges that test our judgment and faith. The CPC has given the firm answer in the 18th Party Congress report. It will also be an answer all of society must agree upon."