Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed Thursday to double the country’s gross domestic product and per capita income by 2020 from 2010 levels, a development that would increase the likelihood China will surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy by 2030.
Speaking at the opening of the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, Hu expressed determination to “safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,” an apparent criticism of Japan’s control of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by Beijing.
The congress, to run through next Wednesday, will usher in a once-in-a-decade leadership change in which Hu will hand the post of party general secretary to Vice President Xi Jinping.
The congress comes as China, which overtook Japan as the world’s second-largest economy in 2010, is likely to mark a shift from an investment-led economy to a consumption-driven one propelled by higher disposable income and increased urbanization in the coming decade under Xi’s leadership.
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