Before the meeting, Xi visited Shenzhen, the first special economic zone.|
He was quoted during the visit as encouraging people to rapidly quicken reform. The visit was seen by observers as echoing a similar trip in 1992 by Deng, which revived the country's then-stalled reforms.
Li Chengyan, a professor with the school of government at Peking University, told China Daily: "Guangdong is the forerunner of China's reform and opening-up, and has been actively carrying out economic and political structural reform.
Xi Jinping (center), general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, at "The Road Toward Renewal" exhibition in Beijing in November. [Photo/Xinhua]
"So the selection of Guangdong for his first inspection tour (as the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee) shows Xi endorses the province's achievements over the past three decades. And at the same time, the move indicates his high expectations of Guangdong's future development and the deepening reforms."
The Nanfang Daily quoted Xi as saying, on his Shenzhen visit, that new ground will be broken.
"The Party Central Committee's decision to undertake reform and opening-up was correct. We will continue down this path, unswervingly continue enriching the country and the people and will break new ground."
Newspapers in Hong Kong reported that Xi laid flowers by a statue of Deng in Shenzhen.
Wen Wei Po, a newspaper in Hong Kong, said that Xi also visited a former fishing village in Shenzhen, a symbol of the success of the economic policy that Deng championed.
Before arriving at Guangzhou, Xi visited the cities of Zhuhai and Shunde. Xi kept his visits low-key, to conform to the "eight rules" published days earlier that urged the end of pomp and ceremony.
Footage aired by Hong Kong television shows Xi using a small coach during his visit to Shenzhen and waving to passers-by.
Xi said his meeting with entrepreneurs in Guangzhou was aimed at finding out what criticisms would be aired and suggestions to fix any problems.
He pledged that the government will seriously study problems that were pointed out and come up with appropriate solutions.
The economy has regained some momentum after it cooled down in the first three quarters of the year. Economists expect GDP growth to rise from the third quarter's 7.4 percent year-on-year to around 8 percent in the fourth quarter.
Barclays Bank wrote in a research note on Monday that the government is to retain its 7.5 percent growth target and 4 percent inflation target for next year.
Fiscal policy is likely to remain proactive, but monetary policy probably has already returned to neutral. It said that continuity and stability of macroeconomic policy will be a priority and there will be no aggressive stimulus measures next year.