China's ruling Communist Party has launched its national congress, a pivotal event that ushers in a new set of top leaders for the next decade.
Addressing a gathering of delegates at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Thursday, President Hu Jintao called for major economic and political reforms.
He noted China's rapid growth over the last 30 years, which has pulled hundreds of millions out of poverty.
However, the country's economic boom also created a widening gap between the rich and poor.
Chen Changyou, a construction worker who contributed to China's development, told Al Jazeera that he is one of many labourers who struggled difficult to benefit from the economic progress.