BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) -- A grand gathering marking the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing Friday morning.
Wu Bangguo, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, declared the opening of the rally, followed by a 6,000-people choir of China's national anthem.
Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang were present at the rally.
In a keynote speech delivered by Hu, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, he said the CPC, chosen by history and the people, has accomplished three major events since its formation 90 years ago.
The first is that the CPC, relying on the people, completed the new-democratic revolution, winning national independence and liberation of the people, Hu said.
The second is that the CPC completed the socialist revolution and established the basic socialist system, he said.
The third is that the Party carried out a great new revolution of reform and opening up, creating, upholding, and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, he said.
"These three major events reshaped the future and destiny of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation," Hu said.
Hu said the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only way for China to achieve socialist modernization and create decent lives for its people.
He said China has developed rapidly in the past 30 plus years thanks to reform and opening up, and the country must promote its future development by continuing to carry out reform and opening up.
However, he noted that China's international status as the largest developing country in the world has not changed and development is still the key to solving all the problems in the country.
China is still "in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come," and the principal issue in society remains how to meet the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people while upgrading backward social production," Hu said.
He said the CPC will "actively yet prudently" carry out political structural reform, aiming to achieve the fundamental goal that the people should determine their destiny, increase the vitality of the Party and the country and fully tap the initiative of the people.
"We must see to it that all state powers belong to the people, improve institutions for exercising democracy, diversify its forms, expand its channels, and ensure that the people can participate in democratic elections, decision making, administration and oversight in accordance with the law," he said.
The CPC will also intensify its efforts to combat corruption, which is "crucial to gaining popular support for the Party and ensuring its very survival," Hu said.
"If not effectively curbed, corruption will cost the Party the trust and support of the people," said Hu.
Moreover, he called for "vigorous development and enrichment of socialist culture" and efforts to steadily increase the whole nation's "cultural creativity."
Hu also stressed the absolute leadership of the CPC over the army and the efforts to build a "revolutionary, modern and standardized army" in an all-around way.
"It is important to expand and intensify military preparedness and conduct military exercises with information technology (IT) applications and raise independent defense- and weaponry-related research and development (R&D) capabilities," Hu said.
Meanwhile, he stressed the promotion of peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait, deepening exchanges and cooperation in all areas and expanding interactions across the Strait.
Xi Jinping, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, announced a decision to commend outstanding CPC grassroots units, members and Party workers, who received certificates of merit presented by CPC top officials at the rally.
Wu Bangguo, who presided over the rally, said Hu's speech thoroughly summarized the Party's 90-year glorious journey and valuable experience. He urged all Party members and people of all nationalities to carefully study the speech and use its ideas in their work.
The rally was concluded amid the singing of The Internationale.
More than 6,000 people, including members of the CPC's Central Committee, the top legislature, the top political advisory body and non-Communist parties as well as retired CPC cadres, attended the rally.