Hu’s speech was part swansong, part consensus platform meant to impose policy continuity on Xi and the new leadership.
Hu set a target for doubling the size of the country’s economy and per capita income from 2010 to 2020, implying an 8 percent annual growth rate that economists say may saddle China with higher debt and more waste and prevent a rebalancing away from state companies to private companies and households.
‘‘Only development counts,’’ Hu said.
Hu also turned aside calls from retired party members and government think tanks to answer public demands for more transparency and accountability by moving toward a more democratic system. He said the party must remain in charge while learning to be more responsive to public needs.
‘‘We must ensure the unity of the leadership of the party,’’ Hu said. He later added: ‘‘We will never copy a Western political system.’’
Associated Press writers Gillian Wong, Christopher Bodeen, Didi Tang and Louise Watt contributed to this report.