context: Xi Jinping announced the country was entering a ‘new development stage’, an historic leap towards ‘becoming strong’ over the next three decades on 11 Jan 2021. While Deng Xiaoping was the ‘chief architect’ of the previous stage, the present commentary strongly signals that Xi is to be given credit for what it is coming next.

People’s Daily issued an authoritative front-page commentary entitled ‘Great changes in the New Era’ on 19 Mar 2021. With Xi Jinping at its core, the Party achieved historic successes with unseen determination and force, deepening reforms and restructuring across sectors, it stresses. The reform and opening up of the past 40 years had been a moment of awakening for the Party. As it now stood at a new historical juncture, the Party of the New Era has to lead efforts to deepen reform in order to take this great awakening to new levels, the commentator continues.

Deng Xiaoping, the ‘chief architect of reform and opening up’, had awakened the country’s dormant forces and allowed the Party and the people to catch up with the times, the piece notes. In the New Era, Xi Jinping is personally leading this ‘great revolution’ towards new frontiers, a revolution which will define the future of the Party and the country.

In the process, Chairman Xi maintained a far reaching historical perspective and a strong sense of mission, it continues, developing original reformist thinking, which has

  • emphasised promoting social justice and the well-being of the people
  • defined reforms’ roadmap, answering major questions of global and strategic importance across various fields
  • identified scientific and effective methods, forming the most comprehensive and systematic reform methodology since the start of reform and opening up

Implementing new development patterns will be essential to deepen reforms as the country moves forward. A new journey has begun, and the pace of reform must never stop, the commentary concludes.