The Straits Times
Published on Nov 09, 2012

Hu defends track record, calls for war on graft

Outgoing leader wants China to be global maritime power


BEIJING - Outgoing Chinese leader Hu Jintao defended his decade-long track record as one of "new historic successes" and urged China to continue its ascent as a global force by becoming a maritime power.

But in his last major address to the nation on Thursday, he also warned that China faces severe challenges at home and abroad.

Corruption, in particular, could prove fatal to the ruling Communist Party if left unchecked, he told delegates at the opening of the week-long 18th Party Congress to usher in a new leadership for the next 10 years.

Yet, China will never deviate from its socialist model and copy Western political systems to solve the problems it faces, he pledged.