A new era of power declared by Xi Jinping. The Chinese president saying it's time for the nation to be a mighty force and lead the world, in a historic state of the union style speech, Wednesday, marking the end of his first term.>> All party comrades must set their sights far and high and think of danger in times of safety.
Be willing to change and innovate, be willing not to become stiff or stop.>> The heavily aspirational speech kicks off Beijing's week-long Communist Party congress that will shape the country's direction for the next five years. Reuters John Ruwitch was there as the president spoke.>> Above all the speech was sweeping, it covered everything, it covered economics, it covered politics, it covered society, social issues, it lasted about 3 hours, which was long compared to previous speeches.
And underlying it all, I would say, were the messages that China is strong and getting stronger, and China is confident and becoming more confident. Xi Jinping in his speech underlined a point the party has made in the past, which is that it will never copy a foreign political system, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, he said.
>> Xi swiftly built a power after becoming leader at the last congress five years ago, reshaping the military, cracking down on descent, and locking up rivals for corruption. As the congress progresses, focus will fall on how he plans to widen his authority even further.>> The speech by Xi Jinping this morning was conservative.
There were no signs in it about Xi gathering more power, getting people he wants into senior positions, that type of thing. We have to wait for the rest of the party congress to play out over the week, they are gonna pick new leaders, these type of things. That's when we'll start to see clues about whether or not Xi is gaining the power that people believe he is.
>> China watchers are also paying closer attention to moves that may let the president stay in power after a second term ends in 2022, such as crowning him party chairman, a position that would put him on par with founding father Mao Zedong.