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BEIJING -- A leading US expert on China studies said the ongoing 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China marks a "new historic starting point," believing it will exert influence on China and the world for decades to come.

"Xi Jinping set out an audacious, grand vision for China"s future development, which, without doubt, is the highlight of the political report," said Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, commenting on the report Xi delivered to the 19th CPC National Congress on Wednesday.

What impressed Kuhn was the report"s "comprehensive scope" and that it "established the policies not only for the next five years, but framed the agenda and set the strategies for the next 30 years."

While announcing socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a "new era," the CPC leader envisioned China with "socialist modernization basically realized" by 2035, and then developing into "a great modern socialist country" by the middle of the century with a leading influence in the world.

That"s why this congress has special significance as it marks the start of a five-year period that is the confluence of the two centenary goals, said Kuhn, who was at the Great Hall of the People as the co-producer and host of "Closer to China with R.L. Kuhn" on China Global Television Network when the report was delivered.

"People orientation and rejuvenating the country, in the historic context of China"s ancient civilization and long struggle against foreign oppression, form the foundation of the report," Kuhn said.

The report also gave Kuhn, author of bestseller "How China"s Leaders Think," a sense of how confident the Chinese leader and the country are in socialism and their commitment to deepening reform and strengthening rule of law.

From the report, he also saw the "strict governance of the Party by reforming and purifying itself," which he said is "unambiguous."

"The anti-corruption campaign not only continues but is enhanced," he added.

On the economic front, Kuhn saw the increasing role of innovation, especially in science and technology. Regarding military, he described the content concerning military reform and modernization as "open and specific."

From the report, he also saw China"s sovereignty as "sacrosanct" and its international engagement as "pro-active, confident and growing."

It impressed Kuhn that "the leadership of China, led by Xi, has a profound understanding of the country, its governance, economy and society, and is determined to bring about its great rejuvenation."

"Xi gave a realistic appraisal of problems, including social imbalances, economic structure, endemic pollution," while making an "epic narrative of what China has remarkably achieved, what China has yet to do, and what China envisages as necessary to be a great nation," he said.

It is on this competence and accomplishment that the political legitimacy of the CPC is founded, said Kuhn.

With this political report and the congress, Xi, who is the core of the CPC Central Committee and of the whole Party, sees China as standing at a new historic starting point and that socialism with Chinese characteristics is entering a new era, Kuhn added.