China is about to embark on the next phase of a remarkable economic journey, aiming for higher quality and more sustainable growth, the IMF chief said Sunday.

“The journey has propelled it to the top tier of the global economy and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in a remarkably short period of time,” Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) told the China Development Forum that kicked off in Beijing on Saturday.

“This new transformation will come with three key dimensions — a firm destination, a clear roadmap and a deep sense of global responsibility,” Lagarde said.

After showing great economic leadership, especially during the recent global financial crisis, China has its eyes fixed firmly on its next destination — aiming for “higher quality, more inclusive, and more sustainable” growth, said the IMF chief.

Reform plans that came out of the Third Plenum of the Communist Party of China’s 18th Central Committee plot a course to this destination. “These reforms are ambitious. They will require hard decisions and tradeoffs, but I am confident that China will rise to the challenge — as it has always done,” Lagarde said.

“As China’s share in the global economy continues to rise, so will its responsibility in supporting the global common good — global financial stability, environmental sustainability, and the global rules of the game. The IMF will be a key forum for this kind of global cooperation, and I welcome a strengthened partnership with China,” she added.

Initiated in 2000, the forum is a platform for business and academic leaders to interact with China’s top decision makers and economic planners.