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Home >> China
UPDATED: 15:43, March 14, 2006
Chinese premier calls for proper handling of social conflicts in new era
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Governments at all levels must learn to properly deal with problems and conflicts looming up in the new era of economic and social development, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Tuesday in Beijing.

Some local governments have infringed upon the legitimate rights and interests of the people, and social conflicts have subsequently occurred amid the rapid economic growth in China, Wen told a press conference shortly after the closing of the annual session of China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC) .

The premier noted that more problems and conflicts have appeared in the process of land requisition by the government, the demolition of old houses and relevant resettlement, and corporate restructuring in recent years.

Government organs must handle the conflicts in a legitimate way and protect the legal rights and interests of the people, while education should be reinforced to guide the people to express their requests through legal channels and lawful means, Wen urged.

Referring to a series of fatal work safety accidents in the country, the premier called on trade unions at all levels to play their due role in production safety supervision to better safeguard workers' interests.

Wen said it is imperative to strengthen work safety training on workers to "promote their awareness of safety and strengthen their ability of self-protection."

In response to the question of a French reporter about the " independence" of China's trade unions, Wen noted that Chinese trade unions are workers' own organizations, and they are not set up by employers.

The premier reaffirmed that every citizen of China enjoys the freedom of speech, publication, and using the Internet, and that such a right must be realized in line with the law to safeguard national and social interests.

He stressed that the Chinese government supports the development of Internet and its extensive application, and the management of the Internet conforms to international common practice.

Being the people's government, it should subject to the democratic supervision from the masses, and listen to the various opinions on the Internet, said Wen, adding that only when supervised by people will the government not be slack in its work; only when every one bears his/her responsibility will every cause of the country develop smoothly.

China's management of the Internet is strictly based on law. In the meantime, China calls for self-discipline and self-management of the Internet industry, Wen said.

"Websites should convey correct information, rather than mislead people and bring negative impact on the social order," he added.

What is most harrowing is that the government did not do an excellent job over the past three years in solving the problems of health care, education, residential buildings and safety that are of great concern among the people, the premier noted.

"All our achievements should be attributed to the people, and what touched me most is the zealous and consistent support, either encouragement or criticism, that the people have rendered to the government," Wen said.

"China's premiers have been sharing the notion of never surrendering to difficulties," Wen pledged, with a connotation that he and his government will work even harder facing great challenges.

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