Li, 57, is currently the vice premier and is set to take over as the new premier from Wen Jiabao during the once-in-a-decade leadership change at the Congress of the ruling Communist Party currently underway in Beijing.
Li, who holds a doctorate in economics, told a discussion of the party delegates on the speech made by outgoing President Hu Jintao on Thursday at the inaugural meeting of the Congress that China should resolutely discard all notions and systems that hinder efforts to pursue development in a scientific way.
Li noted that China remains in an important period of strategic opportunities for its development, the period that is full of "unprecedented risks and challenges."
Under such circumstances, he said, China should accelerate improvement of the socialist market economy and facilitate the change of the growth model to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects as well as deepen reform and opening up in an all-round way, the official media reported in Beijing.
The party needs to properly handle the relations between the regulators and the market and implement a more proactive opening up strategy to boost the momentum and vitality of development, he said.
Li stressed the importance of keeping to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and make the scientific outlook on development guide in completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
For the past decade, he said, China has made marvelous historic achievements in reform and opening up and modernised the country with theoretical and practical innovations, which have laid a solid foundation for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society.
He stressed the CPC members should implement the scientific outlook on development more actively and forcefully throughout the entire process of China's modernisation and the party building.
The scientific outlook on development was proposed by the 16th CPC Central Committee in 2003, against the backdrop of rapid economic growth and a series of problems including excessive consumption of resources, serious environmental pollution and a widening gap between the rich and the poor.
Image: Li Keqiang