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Road map for social, economic development unfolded

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Mallaba, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

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    Premier Wen Jiabao gestures while delivering the government work report at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]

    Wen vows to improve people's livelihoods and ensure more share in the fruits of nation's growth
    BEIJING - Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday unfolded the road map for China's social and economic development during the next five years, setting targets for the quality and efficiency of economic growth and speaking about the transformation of the growth mode and economic restructuring.
    While delivering his annual government work report, he also listed other priorities that include improving people's well-being, advancing education and healthcare, conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.
     
  2. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

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    Wen was addressing the opening of the fourth session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), which will run until March 14. His speech highlighted the central government's draft 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015), which the NPC deputies - the lawmakers - will review.

    The draft plan will become official guidelines after it is endorsed by the almost 3,000 deputies.
    According to Wen, the major focus of the government's work this year will include reining in inflation by keeping the consumer price index, a major gauge of rising costs, to an increase of about 4 percent.
    The government will also boost the incomes of farmers and pensioners, increase consumer demand, enhance agricultural development and speed up economic restructuring.
    "Ensuring an adequate food supply for 1.3 billion Chinese people is always a top priority and we must never take this issue lightly," Wen said.
    To achieve the 8-percent GDP growth goal for this year, Wen listed measures that will ensure more people share in the fruits of reforms and economic development. These include the creation of more than 9 million jobs, reducing the tax burden on low- and middle-income people and increasing government subsidies for the rural cooperative medical care system.
    The overall growth goals for the coming five years are pragmatic, with average annual GDP growth set at 7 percent, 4.2 percentage points lower than China achieved on average between 2006 and 2010.
    Despite calls from some officials and experts to speed up urbanization, the draft plan projects a 4-percent urban expansion rate, 0.5 percentage points lower than the actual urbanization growth rate during the past five years.
    Meanwhile, income for urban and rural residents will increase by 7 percent on average during the coming five years.

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  3. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

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    Climate change
    China will continue with its efforts to tackle climate change by pushing for energy efficiency and cutting energy consumption and CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 16 percent and 17 percent, respectively. It will also enhance environmental protection by reducing the release of major pollutants by 8 to 10 percent.
    China is putting more emphasis on clean air and water, and ramping up its efforts to cut down carbon emissions during the next five years, Martin Sajdik, the Austrian ambassador to China, told China Daily after attending the NPC's opening session.
    This is very important "not only for China but also for the whole world," he said.
    Xianfang Ren, senior China analyst from IHS Global Insight, said in his analysis sent to the media: "The Chinese leadership is shifting further from a growth-at-all-costs mantra toward a development-oriented strategy that emphasizes economic, social and environmental sustainability."
    Ren said China is also "conducting a new industrialization drive that focuses on boosting added-value and creating jobs. That implies more avaricious acquisition of key technologies and aggressive development of emerging strategic sectors that could put China in the same league as developed countries in such industries."
    The new tasks are identified in the government work report to better address domestic problems and meet global challenges.
    Wen said the world's economic slump following the financial crisis in late 2008 had a "far-reaching" impact because there is still no solid footing for a global economic recovery. The prices of major commodities and the exchange rates of major currencies "have become more volatile in the international market, with asset bubbles and inflationary pressures growing in emerging markets".
    China is especially aware of the importance of global economic restructuring and rebalancing, he said.
    Moreover, China has to tackle a plethora of its own growth impediments.
    "We are keenly aware that we still have a serious problem: Our development is not yet well balanced, coordinated or sustainable," Wen said.
    China's growth has been held back by "resource and environmental constraints", a lack of scientific and technological innovation, "an irrational industrial structure", a weak agricultural foundation and imbalance between investment and consumption, he explained.
     
  4. Mallaba

    Mallaba JF-Expert Member

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    Income divide wider
    China achieved a 10.6 percent annual rise in per capita GDP since 2006. However, Wen admitted the income divide has become wider and a development gap remains between urban and rural areas and between regions.
    While acknowledging the challenges, Wen said the government must "work tirelessly and painstakingly to solve these problems more quickly to the satisfaction of the people".
    The road ahead will not be smooth, say some experts.
    "The Chinese leadership faces multiple constraints, such as employment challenges and resistance from regional and industry interests groups," Ren said.
    Hu Yongqi, Xu Fan and Xin Zhiming contributed to this story.
     
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