The key points of Premier鈥檚 report 03-05-2004 17:25

Calling the past year "significant and unusual", Premier Wen began his report by summarizing a series of remarkable achievements in 2003:

A great victory in the battle against SARS;

Year-on-year economic growth at more than 9 percent;

A significant boost in government revenue;

Continued double-digit expansion in foreign trade;

More jobs were created than planned;

Overall, people are now getting richer;

China鈥檚 historic manned space flight turned out to be a complete success.

Wen Jiabao attributed these achievements to the correct leadership of the Party's Central Committee, as well as the concerted efforts by people of all ethnic groups.

Government officials spared no effort in their fight against the SARS virus, making public safety their top priority.

At the same time, a wide range of measures was carried out to minimize the impact of SARS on economic growth.

The SARS outbreak prompted the government to pay more attention to the development of social undertakings such as improving the nation's poorly-equipped public health system.

And that's part of the central government's wider campaign to address the daily concerns of ordinary citizens.

Last year saw an unprecedented number of subsidies allocated for job creation in cities, and poverty relief among farmers.

Beyond financial assistance, improving the legal system is also crucial to helping change the status of the poor.

Migrant workers' rights were highlighted as the State Council abolished the unpopular system of detention and repatriation.

Meanwhile, the premier said, the government pressed ahead with institutional reform in state-owned enterprises, especially in the financial sector.

But, despite these outstanding achievements, the Chinese leader acknowledged that many serious problems remain.

Topping the list is the lack of significant growth in farmers' incomes.

Other problems include, what he calls, "haphazard investment and redundant construction in some industries and regions", "the economy's mounting pressure on the environment", "frequent accidents that inflict heavy loss of lives", and corruption among some government officials.

So, in laying out his agenda for this year, Wen Jiabao proposed to seek a balance between economic growth and social development.

In 2004, China's economy is projected to expand by around 7 percent.

More methods will be employed to address the plight of farmers.

Among them is the gradual abolition, in five years, of the agricultural tax burden on farmers.

And the government will invest more money into intensifying the creation of jobs and further building a social safety net.

Financial reform will continue to appear high on the agenda of economic restructuring.

In this regard, the Chinese premier said China's economy will continue to open to international competition.

And in political restructuring, the premier vowed to press forward with developing socialist democracy while safeguarding national security and maintaining social stability.

Then, Wen Jiabao devoted much of his report to stressing the self-improvement of government.

He said China's fast-changing development demands the further transformation of government functions.

Government must pay more attention to social administration and public service.

Premier Wen called for a democratic policy-making process and said government officials must exercise their power within the scope of their authority defined by law.

Officials across the country were also urged to consciously accept the public's monitoring of their work and improve their style of work.

In the final part of his report, Wen Jiabao reaffirmed Beijing's commitment to maintaining long-term stability and prosperity in Hong Kong and Macao.

He said the central government will continue to uphold the principle of "One country, two systems".

As for Taiwan, the premier said with the utmost sincerity, the central government will do everything possible to bring about the peaceful reunification of the motherland.

And to the international community, the Chinese leader said his government will unswervingly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, and advocate democracy in world affairs.


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