Top legislature hears government report 03-05-2004 13:09

In the capital on Mar.5, China's top legislature has convened its annual plenary session. The National People's Congress will spend the next 10 days reviewing the government's work over the past year. It will also consider next year's development plans and vote on proposed amendments to the Constitution. The law-makers heard the Premier's government report.

China's legislators gather every year at this time in Beijing .

The main work of the annual session is to hear the government's report on its work, as well as reports from other key government departments.

But this year, the NPC deputies have more than the reports on their minds: the revision of the Constitution is expected to be a major focus of the session.

The NPC's nearly 3,000 law-makers will have the final say on the 14 proposed amendments to the Constitution. The revisions cover issues such as protecting human rights and private property, as well as encouraging the growth of the non-public sector.

Some of the suggested revisions appeared in Premier Wen Jiabao's first government report since he took office.

The premier reported last year's economy grew by more than 9 %. But this year, he has stressed that the focus should not be on how fast the economy grows, but rather how it grows.

The premier said the government will focus on creating more jobs for the unemployed and narrowing the income gap. It will also work harder to improve farmers' livelihoods and develop backward regions.

"Over the next 10 days, law-makers will hear and discuss more reports on the nation's social and economic development. They will vote on these reports at the end of the session. But, their most important task will be to mull over the proposed amendments to the Constitution for the fourth time in 16 years.


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