Wen Jiabao tells reception to mark 63rd anniversary of New China that reform, opening-up will continue.
Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated on Saturday his adherence to institutional reform and opening-up policies before a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
"We are in an important period of strategic opportunities for development," Wen said at a reception to mark the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which falls on Oct 1.
"The power of reform and opening-up, as well as the persevering spirit of the nation, will lead China to a brighter future."
The reception came one day after Beijing announced the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China would open on Nov 8, which Wen said would be an important meeting "to build on past achievements and open up new prospects for future development".
Wen's comments underlined the most important items on the agenda of the current administration and are likely to guide the next leadership and maintain the focus on domestic development, commentators said.
All nine members of the Political Bureau Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the CPC attended the reception, along with hundreds of diplomats, officials and other guests.
The 18th National Congress comes at a crucial time for China, as the leadership it selects and the decisions it makes will have a profound impact on the world's second-largest economy, and more importantly, on its people, said Xinhua News Agency.
Although challenges loom, the coming transition period is seen as full of strategic opportunities to build China into a prosperous society by 2020.
China is currently experiencing mounting downward pressure after three decades of almost two-digit economic growth and an average annual growth of 10.7 percent from 2003 to 2011, according to official statistics.
The slow-down has caused concern in the international community as China is one of the world's most important economic engines and is responsible for about 10 percent of the world's gross domestic product, while contributing more than one-fifth of global growth in 2011.
Wen urged the country to keep a cool head, adding China is still at the primary stage of socialism and productivity is not high.
"There is still a long way to go before we can build China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious," he said.
Qin Yaqing, vice-president of China Foreign Affairs University, said China's rise is not only about economic achievements, as it has to continue working in a comprehensive manner to deal with the economy, politics and culture.
"To maintain China's peaceful and sustainable rise, we cannot wait for, but need to create a period of strategic opportunities through a series of domestic efforts amid the complex international environment," he said.
China will advance further and enhance productivity, Wen said.
"We must promote socialist democracy and rule of law, uphold social equity and justice, improve the educational and moral standards of our people and achieve freedom and all-round development of the people."
"To realize modernization in a developing country with over 1 billion people is an unprecedented endeavor that needs painstaking exploration. But no hardship will prevent us from forging ahead."
Wen also reiterated the government's policies on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan province, vowing to maintain the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao, and to promote peaceful development across the Taiwan Straits.
On foreign affairs, the premier said China will pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The remarks came at a time when Beijing and Tokyo are locked in an ongoing territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, which have belonged to China since ancient times.
Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov said the CPC has studied the defeat of the Soviet Communist Party, but added he believed China's success would continue, Xinhua reported.