Chinese President Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, issued an assurance to private enterprise owners nationwide while presiding over a symposium on private enterprises Thursday.

For a while, discussion about whether the non-public economy is in retreat has been rife in Chinese society. There are also people who advocate that private enterprises have accomplished their historical mission and it’s time to withdraw. Comments of this kind have stirred speculation and caused confusion. Yesterday’s symposium obviously and directly addressed such speculation.

Xi reiterated that the country will unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector and stressed the implementation of policies from six aspects. The six aspects cover those of most concern to private enterprises.

Multiple factors have contributed to the confusion and speculation surrounding the non-public economy. At a time when the international economic situation keeps changing and the Chinese economy faces more downward pressure, small- and medium-sized private enterprises are among the first to suffer. To avoid risks, banks choose to shun these enterprises. This has resulted in a loss of confidence among private companies.

But a small number of people misread the situation to advocate that private enterprises should retreat and even talk about “removing private ownership.” These views, augmented by the internet, have caused worry and anxiety. Some even promulgated these views as government policy, creating more confusion.

The symposium on Thursday came in time. General secretary Xi presided over the symposium and gave important remarks which were a landmark declaration of the Party’s and the country’s policies. They not only sorted out the issue concerning the non-public economy, but also will exert a profound and long-term impact.

In China, ownership is considered a highly sensitive issue of far-reaching influence that can easily trigger controversy. The breakthrough with the country’s reform and opening-up began with ownership. Undoubtedly private enterprises have played one of the most important roles in China’s endeavor in the past 40 years.

The clarification of ownership at a time when the Chinese economy is experiencing temporary difficulty and confusion reassures private enterprise owners and the whole of Chinese society. People with questions regarding the future direction of reform and opening-up, ideology, private property and social development can all find a sense of direction from the speech.

China faces prominent internal and external challenges. As we have a tough road ahead, our society’s confidence needs to be strengthened. This symposium shows that the CPC Central Committee has a sharp vision. The CPC Central Committee is resolute in solving problems. That is from where the confidence of Chinese society stems.

To be honest, there is not much to fear in the event of social confusion or even a crisis. China is bound to encounter ups and downs during modernization.

The key is for China to have a firm collective leadership which all Party members and the people can trust. China also has a mechanism that can solve problems and the ability to reach a consensus that dilutes differences. China will bestride all complexities in a truth-seeking manner.

(In Association with Global Times, China)