Chinese President Xi Jinping. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool, File)
Beijing: In the past five years China's gross domestic product grew  from 54 to 80 trillion yuan, making "China a leader among the major  economies", Chinese  President  Xi Jinping said Wednesday.
He made the remarks during his marathon three-and-a half-hour  speech during the opening ceremony of the 19th National Congress of  the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People (China's
equivalent of Parliament).
The meeting is China's biggest political event and is held every five  years. More than 2300 delegates meet and close to 3000  journalists, from around the world, are in the capital city to cover the
event which runs until Tuesday.
During the next seven days delegates, representing an estimated 89  million party members, will  elect about 200 members to the  party's Central Committee. The committee is then tasked with appointing
members to the 25-member Politburo, which in turn decides on  membership of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee that sits  at the pinncale of Chinese politics.
Xi is expected to retain his position as the party’s general secretary  and China’s "core" leader. He has  emerged as one of China’s  most dominant rulers since Mao Zedong.
During his address Xi said :"The economy has maintained a medium-high growth rate. China
now leads the world in trade, outbound investment, and foreign  exchange reserves."
China is the world's second largest economy and contributes more than  30 percent of global economic growth.
 Xi said the party invested an enormous amount of effort into  eliminating poverty, creating jobs and combating pollution in the  world's most populous country.
The party counts its rapid GDP growth  among the major economic  achievements under its leadership in the five years.
He said the economic structure has been improved as the supply-side  structural reform has made further headway. Agricultural modernisation  has advanced too, with annual grain production reaching 600 million
 tonnes.
Urbanisation has risen by average of 1.2 percentage each year,  and more than 80 million people have moved from rural to urban areas.
More than 60 million people have been lifted out of poverty since  2012. During the same period, an average of more than 13 million urban jobs  were created each year.
Xi said they would pay particular attention to helping the poor  increase their confidence in their own ability to lift themselves out  of poverty and improve access to education.
The party was committed to building strong armed forces and advancing  its military. "We will adapt to the trend of a new global military  revolution and to national security needs," Xi said. "Our military...
must work and focus on how to win when it is called upon... to manage  crisis, and deter and win wars."
 Xi also commended the Chinese for being "brave and  industrious".
He said: "The Chinese nation is a great nation; it has been through  hardships and adversity but remains indomitable."
He vowed the political party would continue to strive for "socialism  with Chinese characteristics".