Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised that the country will “never seek hegemony” even as it approaches the center of the world stage.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, speaks during a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, speaks during a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Xi gave a speech Tuesday to mark the country’s 40 years of reform and opening up.

Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to present a medallion during a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to present a medallion during a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The address credited former leader Deng Xiaoping’s market reforms with saving the country from the brink of economic collapse following the tumultuous Cultural Revolution.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Xi also expressed support for a multilateral trading system, but he did not directly address ongoing trade friction with the United States.

Attendees are presented with medallions during a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Attendees are presented with medallions during a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening Up policy at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Dec. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

China has been battling global scrutiny around its outsize economic influence. Xi assured in his speech that the country will not develop “at the expense of other countries’ interests.”

Source: The Associated Press

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