We should maintain moderately rapid growth of production
June 7, 1988
China is deepening its reform, trying to create more favourable conditions for future development. We attach importance not only to our development in this century, but even more to our development in the next. The choice before us is either to continue to make economic progress or to retreat. But to retreat will get us nowhere. Only by deepening reform in every field of endeavour can we ensure that the people will live a relatively comfortable life by the end of this century and that more progress will be made in the next.
Our reform involves great risks, but we have high hopes of success. Unless you are confident of success, you can't make proper policy decisions. I have always encouraged my comrades to be bolder in carrying out reform. There are two crucial things. First, when handling matters we should consult the people, act resolutely but prudently, analyse our experience from time to time and correct inappropriate plans and methods so as to prevent minor mistakes from becoming major ones. Second, during the reform we should maintain moderately rapid growth of production. The growth rate should not be too fast, but of course it should not be too slow either. For the last ten years the economy has been developing at high speed. If we can maintain a moderate speed in the coming years, there will be little risk in deepening the reform.
(Excerpt from a talk with Zbigniew Messner, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the United Workers' Party of Poland and Chairman of the Polish Council of Ministers.)
(From Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, Volume III <1982-1992>)