What he really means is that nobody except for him can tell the Chinese people what should and should not be done
Given that he was speaking to honor the 40th anniversary of the 1978 reforms that set China on the path toward building a modern industrialized state, Xi Jinping – markets had hoped – might announce new reform measures or economic liberalization efforts like certain policy moves that had been teased by the Wall Street Journal last week.
Xi told an audience of party officials, military leaders and entrepreneurs in a speech Tuesday that “no one is in the position to dictate to the Chinese people what should and should not be done.” The 80-minute address in Beijing was held to mark the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening Up campaign that unleashed the country’s economic boom under then leader Deng Xiaoping.
In remarks that ranged from the economy to the environment to Taiwan and the South China Sea, Xi presented his agenda as the logical outcome of the country’s post-1978 “reform era” and Chinese history more broadly. He reasserted his contention that the country had entered a “new era” under his leadership and was poised for a bigger role in world affairs.