Preserving stability is China’s top priority in the face of a sharp economic slowdown, President Hu Jintao told Communist Party members Thursday at an event marking the 30th anniversary of the country’s landmark reforms. "If there is no stability, then nothing can be achieved, and what achievements we have made will be lost," Hu said. Despite differing accounts of what actually triggered China’s "reform and opening," the government identifies a party meeting on December 18, 1978 as the official turning point. The anniversary has been soured by a weakening domestic economy. In his speech, Hu stressed the importance of boosting domestic demand as well as addressing the external risks thrown up by the global financial crisis. He said this would come in part by strengthening the party’s economic and social role, not by copying the Western political system, the Financial Times reported.