In a landmark speech on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping said China had debunked “the myth that modernisation means westernisation” and hailed the Chinese model as a paradigm for developing countries to follow. Addressing top Communist Party cadres and government officials at a study session to follow up on the key decisions taken at the 20th party congress in October, Xi said China’s path “showed a new modernisation model, different from the West”, which he called a “brand new form of human civilisation”. Xi urged party members to “grasp the idea correctly” and promote Chinese modernisation which “presents another picture of modernisation, expands the path choices for developing countries … and provides China’s solution for human beings to explore a better social system”. The speech was delivered one month before the “two sessions ” – China’s annual parliamentary meetings – take place in Beijing, completing the power reshuffle announced at the party congress, when Xi secured an unprecedented third term. New appointments include some of the most senior positions, among them premier, head of the legislature, and head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, as well as several key ministerial posts. Xi will begin his third presidential term during the sessions, the first Chinese leader to do so in decades. The speech also came hard on the heels of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s abrupt postponement of his first visit to Beijing, after months of preparation by both sides. Expanding on Chinese-style modernisation, Xi said it was embedded with a unique perspective, on the world, values, history, civilisation, democracy and ecology. Its practices were “major innovations in the theory and practice of world modernisation” and it has set an example for developing countries to follow in terms of how to modernise independently, he said. “[Chinese modernisation] has required [us] to create higher efficiency than capitalism, but also to maintain social fairness more effectively, to better balance, integrate and unite efficiency and fairness.” Xi cited China’s achievements since the Communist Party took power in 1949, especially from the reform and opening up era after the death of Mao Zedong, as proof that “we have completed in decades the industrialisation process that had taken developed Western countries hundreds of years”. “[We] have created a miracle of rapid economic development and long-term social stability, and opened up broad prospects for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” he said. “Practice has proven that Chinese-style modernisation is feasible and stable, and it is the only correct path for building a strong country and rejuvenating the nation.” Xi said the leadership of the party was key to the fundamental direction and destiny of Chinese modernisation. “Only by unswervingly adhering to the party leadership can Chinese modernisation have a bright future and prosperity. Otherwise, it will deviate from the [right] course, lose its soul and even make subversive mistakes,” he said.