President Xi Jinping has urged officials to push forward reforms but avoid being rash and reckless in the process.
During an inspection tour of the eastern coastal province of Shandong from Sunday to Thursday, Xi said officials should strictly follow instructions from the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the central government. He asked them not to "blindly advance" reforms without fully understanding the top leadership's intention and plan.
Reforms must be unfolded in an orderly manner, and no one should make a "false start" if the central government lays out a timetable, he said. Officials may not hold up reforms that are to be carried out as soon as possible, nor could they take measures that are poorly thought out and need more deliberation, he added.
Xi emphasised the role of the law in reform, saying officials must obtain consent from courts if their reform measures concern legal issues.
In a seminar with experts and officials in the agricultural sector, Xi said food safety is and will always be one of the government's top priorities. He said China must be able to guarantee the food supply of its 1.3 billion people because "history has proved that even a huge fortune is of no use if a famine hits us".
He warned officials not to accelerate urbanization hastily in hopes of making their reform record look better, saying that more opportunities should be created for farmers to share the benefits of reforms.
Xi, whose father was a revolutionary leader before the CPC founded the People's Republic of China, paid his respects to those who died fighting for the founding of New China by presenting a basket of flowers at a cemetery of revolutionary martyrs in Linyi.
In Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, Xi said a flourishing culture is one of the pillars of a nation's power. Traditional ethics must be honoured and promoted in a way that can elevate the public's morality, he added.
When visiting local businesses in the province, Xi encouraged government officials and entrepreneurs to invest more in innovation and diversify the products to find their niche in the market.