Chinese vice president: China expected to achieve 8% growth rate

08:15, October 10, 2009      

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Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said here on Friday that China was likely to achieve the targeted annual economic growth of 8 percent.

Xi made the remarks when speaking to representatives from overseas Chinese compatriots and students and Chinese enterprises operating in Belgium.

"We have been actively coping with the international financial crisis and taken a series of effective measures to ensure that China's economy can stabilize and move towards the right direction," Xi said.

Thanks to a package of effective macro-control measures and rescue plans, China recorded in the first half of this year a 7.1-percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP), he noted.

Developing in such a pace, "we can achieve the expected annual growth of 8 percent," he said, adding that China still needed to do more to promote sound and rapid development of its economy as uncertainties in the country's and world's economic picture remained.

Xi also talked about the progress of the reconstruction work in Sichuan province, where a catastrophic earthquake on May 12, 2008 caused more than 69,000 deaths, over 374,600 injuries and millions of economic losses.

A key victory was achieved over the past year concerning reconstruction in the southwestern province, he said.

Xi noted that 99 percent of the more than 180 million destroyed houses were under construction, 92 percent of over 160 million dilapidated houses or buildings were completed and nearly 3.5 million damaged houses were all repaired.

As a result, the Chinese government decided to finish the reconstruction work in the earthquake-hit areas within two years, one year ahead of schedule, Xi told his audience.

"All these demonstrated the great advantages of our socialist country in concentrating all might on big events," he said.

In Xinjiang, he said, there was a "serious vandalism and violent crime" on July 5, when a riot in the capital city of Urumqi left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 others injured.

Xi noted that the violence was the result of collusion, planning and orchestration of hostile forces inside and outside China, adding that the incidents of stabbing people by needles on July 18 were actually a follow-up of the July 5 event.

Now the situation in Xinjiang and Urumqi was calm and order was restored, Xi said.

"We are fully capable of maintaining our stability and unity in Xinjiang and maintaining our national stability and unity."

During the National Day celebrations, there were no unpleasant events happening in the whole country, he said.

There were two major events concerning the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the past year, he said.

It convened in September the Fourth Plenary Session of 17th Central Committee, discussing party building.

He said that after a rule of 60 years, it was important to enhance party building to face new difficulties and challenges in the much changed world.

The other was that 70 million party members were in a campaign of linking study the scientific concept of development with practice.

Xi urged Chinese diplomats working in Europe to help promote China-EU strategic partnership and friendly relations, and asked Chinese enterprises here to continue close collaboration with Belgian businesses to promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

During his stay in Brussels, Xi met Belgian government leaders and King Albert II, as well as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

He attended the opening ceremony on Thursday of the Europalia China art festival, which will showcase Chinese traditional and modern arts, performances and lifestyle in Belgium and neighboring countries in the four months to come.

He will visit Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania in the following days.

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