Premier Wen delivers government work report


Premier delivers government work report (1)
I. Review of the Past Year's Work

Achievements:

- We won a great victory in the fight against SARS.

- The economy grew rapidly. China's GDP increased by 9.1% over the previous year and reached 11.67 trillion yuan. Per capita GDP passed the important benchmark of US$ 1,000, calculated at the current exchange rate.

- China's financial strength grew noticeably. Total government revenue was 2.17 trillion yuan, 278.7 billion yuan more than the previous year.

- Foreign trade expanded significantly. Total import and export volume was $851.2 billion, 37.1% more than the previous year, raising China from fifth to fourth place in the world.

- We created more jobs than planned - 8.59 million urban residents became employed and 4.4 million laid-off workers, reemployed.

- People's incomes increased. Urban per capita disposable income grew by 9% in real terms, and rural per capita net income rose by 4.3% in real terms.

- China's first manned spaceflight was a complete success.

The work we didi over the past year was mainly in the following six areas:

1. Taking resolute measures against SARS and concentrating our resources on the campaign against it

China suffered from a disastrous SARS outbreak last spring. The Party Central Committee and the State Council gave top priority to protecting people's health and lives and promptly investigated SARS and took steps to prevent and treat it.

2. Exercising timely and appropriate control to promote stable and rapid economic development

We adhered to the policy of expanding domestic demand and continued to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy. We took measures to exercise macro-control over new developments as soon as they arose in the course of economic operation.

3. Accelerating the development of social undertakings on the basis of an overall consideration of all issues

The spread of SARS exposed problems arising from disparities between economic and social development. We promptly made necessary adjustments to the government's priorities and investment to stimulate the development of social undertakings. The central government spent 85.5 billion yuan in 2003 on education, health, science and technology, culture and sports, 12.4% more than the previous year. Treasury bonds worth 16.3 billion yuan were issued to support the development of social undertakings, an increase of nearly 200%.

Great progress was made last year in basic research, strategically important hi-tech research, and industrial application of new and high technologies.

Reform of the cultural system and the development of cultural undertakings were vigorously promoted.

Population and family planning work was further strengthened. Fresh progress was made in the areas of land and resources administration, environmental protection, forestry development and ecological improvement.

4. Caring for people's well-being, creating more jobs and administering social security work well

We consider it highly important to protect the vital interests of the people and help them, especially the needy, in solving problems in their work and daily lives.

To continue ensuring the "two guarantees"and the "three-stage guarantee" for laid-off workers, the central government spent 70 billion yuan in 2003, 19.9% more than the previous year; of this sum, subsidies for subsistence allowances for the urban poor increased from 4.6 billion yuan in 2002 to 9.2 billion yuan in 2003.

We further intensified efforts to alleviate rural poverty through development and we invested more to improve working and living conditions in underdeveloped areas.

We made all-out efforts to fight disasters and ensure adequate disaster relief.

5. Pressing forward with institutional innovation and making significant progress in reform and opening up

Institutional restructuring of the State Council was accomplished smoothly on the basis of the plan approved at the First Session of the Tenth National People's Congress and the adjusted and newly set up bodies are now operating normally.

Significant progress was made in establishing a macro-control mechanism, restructuring the management of state assets and establishing a mechanism for oversight and management of the banking sector.

Fresh progress was made in transforming state-owned enterprises into stock companies.

We worked conscientiously to fulfill the commitments we made for accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). We continued to lower tariff rates and opened the service sector wider to the outside world.

6. Improving the legal system and maintaining social stability

We put great effort into improving government legislation. The State Council submitted five bills in 2003, including a draft law on oversight and management of the banking sector and a draft amendment to the Foreign Trade Law, and enacted 28 administrative regulations, including the Provisional Regulations Concerning the Oversight and Management of State-owned Assets in Enterprises.

We increased our efforts to maintain law and order by taking comprehensive measures, focusing on high-crime areas.

In accordance with the Party Central Committee's instructions, governments at all levels last year encouraged a groundswell of study and practice of the important thought of Three Represents and the guiding principles of the Sixteenth National Congress of the CPC. Socialist political civilization and spiritual civilization were strengthened.

In reviewing our work of the past year, we are clearly aware that many difficulties and problems remain on our way ahead, that there are still quite a few shortcomings in the government's work, that there remain areas our people are not satisfied with, and that it will take a long time to fundamentally eradicate longstanding and deep-seated problems.

We must not evade these difficulties and problems but instead face them squarely; we must work hard to resolve them and not let them grow. The government will shoulder heavy responsibilities for years to come.

II. Principal Domestic Tasks for 2004

The year 2004 is a crucial year for China's reform and development.

Major tasks are:

1. Strengthening and improving macro-control and maintaining stable and rapid economic growth

The basic focus of this year's economic work is to safeguard, guide and utilize the enthusiasm of all sides for accelerating development in order to achieve stable and rapid economic growth without drastic fluctuations.

In setting a target for this year's economic growth of around 7%, the central government has taken into consideration both the need for continuity in macro-control and the relationship between the pace of economic growth and the conditions for its attainment, including supply and demand in energy, important raw and processed materials, and transport capacity, also taking into account the need to alleviate the pressure on resources and the environment.

To ensure effective macro-control, we need to maintain consistency and stability in our macroeconomic policies while adjusting the intensity and focus of policy implementation at the proper time and to an appropriate degree in response to developments and changes in the economic situation. By "at the proper time," we mean seizing the opportune moment for introducing control measures by observing small clues that may indicate what is coming in order to forestall any possible trouble. By "to an appropriate degree," we mean that macro-control should neither be too loose nor too tight and that we must not apply the brakes too hard or apply control measures too rigidly.

We must adhere to the policy of expanding domestic demand and continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy.

The issuance of construction treasury bonds is an interim policy adopted during a period of insufficient demand. Their scale should be reduced gradually as the increase in nongovernmental investment accelerates.

We must adhere to the policy of expanding domestic demand and continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy.

The issuance of construction treasury bonds is an interim policy adopted during a period of insufficient demand. Their scale should be reduced gradually as the increase in nongovernmental investment accelerates.

One important task for macro-control this year is to appropriately control the scale of investment in fixed assets and firmly halt haphazard investment and low-level, redundant construction in some industries and regions.

Guided by market forces, we will use a comprehensive range of measures, mainly economic and legal means supplemented by any necessary administrative measures, to strengthen guidance and control.

First, industrial policies and planning should be improved and the information release system for industries should be improved to correctly guide nongovernmental investment.

Second, we must quickly formulate and revise standards for admittance into industries and enforce market admittance strictly.

Third, land-use management must be improved in accordance with the law.

Fourth, auditing and oversight of credit transactions must be strengthened.

Fifth, the taxation system must be tightened and the practice of introducing unauthorized tax privileges must be stopped and rectified.

To ensure stable and rapid economic development, we must alleviate the current disparities between supply and demand in energy, important raw and processed materials and transport capacity.

On the one hand, we must increase the production of coal, electricity and processed oil while at the same time strengthen the regulation of economic activity to balance supply and demand in coal, electricity, oil, transport capacity and important raw and processed materials while meeting the needs of the people, important industries and key enterprises.

On the other hand, we must increase production and practice economy, with the emphasis on economizing.

Balancing investment and consumption is an important aspect of this year's work for macro-control. Consumption occupies too small a proportion of China's GDP.

2. Consolidating and strengthening the position of agriculture as the foundation of the national economy and increasing rural incomes and agricultural production

This year we must take more direct and effective policies and measures to strengthen, support and protect agriculture and increase rural incomes in line with the need to balance urban and rural development.

First, the overall grain production capability must be maintained and increased.

Second, we will promote strategic restructuring of agriculture and the rural economy.

Third, we will press ahead with the reform of rural taxes and administrative charges.

Beginning this year, the agricultural tax rate will be reduced by more than 1 percentage point per year on average, and agricultural taxes will be rescinded in five years.

Fourth, we will deepen the reform of the grain distribution system.

Fifth, we will increase investment in agriculture and rural areas. Governments at all levels must invest more in agriculture, rural areas and farmers.

Sixth, progress in agro-science will be accelerated.

This year, the central government will appropriate around 30 billion yuan for this purpose, at least 20% more than last year.

3. Coordinating economic development in different regions and promoting the development of the western region and the revitalization of northeast China and other old industrial bases

We will continue to implement the strategy of developing the western region.

We will conscientiously implement the strategy for revitalizing northeast China and other old industrial bases, working to get off to a good start this year.

Accelerating the development of the central region is an important aspect of our endeavor to ensure well-balanced development of regional economies.

This year, the central government will appropriate around 30 billion yuan for this purpose, at least 20% more than last year.

3. Coordinating economic development in different regions and promoting the development of the western region and the revitalization of northeast China and other old industrial bases

We will continue to implement the strategy of developing the western region.

We will conscientiously implement the strategy for revitalizing northeast China and other old industrial bases, working to get off to a good start this year.

Accelerating the development of the central region is an important aspect of our endeavor to ensure well-balanced development of regional economies.

Accelerating development of the eastern region will strengthen the country financially, materially, scientifically and technologically, thereby providing more support for the development of the central and western regions.

4. Continuing to implement the strategy of invigorating China through science and education and staying on the road of sustainable development

This year, we will continue to concentrate on formulating a medium- and long-range state plan for developing science and technology in order to define the strategy, objectives, tasks and policies in this field for the coming 15 years.

5. Accelerating the development of health, culture and sports and promoting spiritual civilization

We have three priorities in the area of health this year. The first is to strengthen the public health system. The second priority is to improve medical and sanitation conditions in rural areas and carry out pilot projects on a new type of rural cooperative medical care system.The third priority is to vigorously promote the reform of the urban medical care and health service system.

The people's intellectual and cultural needs are constantly increasing along with the economic development and social progress in China, so we must attach greater importance to cultural development.

6. Seizing the opportune moment and deepening economic restructuring

We will systematically carry forward reforms this year, focusing on certain areas in accordance with the decision adopted at the Third Plenary Session of the Sixteenth CPC Central Committee and strive to make fresh progress in some important areas.

7. Adapting to the new situation and opening still wider to the outside world

We must coordinate domestic development with opening up, fully exploit domestic and foreign markets and resources, and expand development into new areas. We will do all our work pertaining to opening up energetically and improve our ability to participate in international cooperation and competition.

8. Intensifying job creation and social security work to further improve people's lives

Doing everything possible to create more jobs is one of the major responsibilities of the government. Our targets for 2004 are to create 9 million jobs for urban residents and get 5 million laid-off workers reemployed.

We need to build a social security network suited to China's conditions and the level of our economic development.

9. Strengthening democracy and the legal system and safeguarding national security and social stability

Concrete and prudent efforts will be made to promote political restructuring, develop socialist democracy and improve the socialist legal system.

We will continue to carefully carry out work related to ethnic minorities, religious groups and overseas Chinese. The legislative work of the government will be strengthened.;

We will place greater emphasis on legislation concerning social management and public service;

The government is duty-bound to ensure peace and security for the people;

III. Government Self-improvement

The government bears heavy and demanding responsibilities in the effort to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Governments and leading cadres at all levels need to adapt to new situations and tasks and continually raise their administrative and management ability.

First, we will further transform government functions.

Second, we will adhere to scientific and democratic policy-making.

Third, we will perform all our duties in accordance with the law.

Fourth, we will consciously accept the oversight of the general public.

Fifth, we will improve the government's style of work and improve the overall quality of public servants.

The quality of public servants determines how well the government is managed and how efficient it is. It is imperative to build a contingent of public servants who are politically reliable, professionally competent and clean and honest and have a good work style.

It is our unshakable goal to maintain the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao. We will continue to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems," according to which "Hong Kong people administer Hong Kong" and "Macao people administer Macao" with a high degree of autonomy, and we will act in strict accordance with the basic laws of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

We will adhere to the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" and, during this current stage, to the eight-point proposal for developing relations across the Taiwan Straits and promoting the peaceful reunification of the motherland.

The international situation is continuing to undergo complex and profound changes. Peace and development remain the themes of our times. World multipolarization and economic globalization are making tortuous progress. Seeking peace and development and promoting cooperation and progress have become an irreversible historical trend.

We seized opportunities, responded to challenges, took the initiative, and made noticeable achievements in foreign affairs. We have won more understanding, trust, respect and support from the international community, and we enjoy higher status and greater influence in the international arena than ever before.

We will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, unswervingly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, increase friendly exchanges and cooperation with other countries, and strive to further improve international and neighboring environments.

The government is faced with arduous tasks this year, and we are keenly aware of the heavy yet lofty responsibilities we bear. The trust and support that the whole nation gives to the government is for us an inexhaustible source of strength and confidence. We firmly believe that, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, by holding high the great banners of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, and by relying closely on the people of all our ethnic groups, we will surely overcome all difficulties and obstacles and make continuous progress in reform and opening up and in the socialist modernization drive!



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