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Wen Jiabao: China to push ahead with reform


03-14-2006 17:38

Premier Wen Jiabao says China must unswervingly push forward its reform drive and that there's no way back. The premier made the remarks at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress.

From foreign policy to the domestic economy and the livelihood of all Chinese, the Premier's press conference on Tuesday covered a wide range of topics.

Wen Jiabao put much emphasis on the government's determination to solve issues concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers. He pointed out two principles in the process of building a new socialist countryside.

Wen said: "One, we must ensure the democratic rights of farmers, especially their land use rights. We must respect their will -- we cannot force them into anything. Second, we must give farmers real benefits and keep improving their living standards. And that should become a standard for our work."

In response to the Taiwan authority's recent abolishment of the island's reunification body, Premier Wen reiterated the mainland's peaceful re-unification goal, but did not rule out other possibilities to check secessionist activities.

He said: "We are keeping a close watch over the situation in Taiwan and making preparations to cope with any possible consequences from a change in the situation."

To ease some countries' fears of the so-called "China threat", Wen Jiabao said China's culture and national interests require China to stick to peaceful development. He added that the country has never dispatched even one soldier abroad, except its peacekeepers, and has not occupied one inch of foreign land.

Wen said: "Even if when one day China becomes powerful, it will never interfere with the internal affairs of other, nor will it seek hegemony. It will play its due role and shoulder its responsibilities."

On souring Sino-Japanese ties, the Premier blamed the provocative visits of Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni shrine worshipping war criminals. He noted that if they continue ignoring the feelings of Chinese and Asian people, it will be hard for bilateral relations to progress.

Despite hardships ahead, the Premier said China has to stick to its road of reform. And among all the strategic tasks in the coming five years, to help farmers become more affluent is the priority. Once again, the Premier noted at his press conference that farmers' issues are in the interests of China's modernization drive as well as the country's long-term peace and stability.


Editor:Wang Ping