Overseas media focus on China's development plans

08:11, March 05, 2010      

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Overseas media have widely reported China's measures to maintain social and economic development, after the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opened Wednesday.

The session outlined plans to keep the steady and fast development of economy, narrow the gap between city and country, and adjust income distribution pattern.

The AP said that CPPCC National Committee Chairman Jia Qinglin said in a work report "2010 is a crucial year for China to respond to the impact of the global financial crisis and maintain steady and rapid economic development."

The annual session of China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), which opens Friday, was expected to "give a full airing to hot-button issues such as soaring real estate prices in many Chinese cities," it said.

The Chinese government, which released a budget and work plan for the year, was expected to boost spending on education, pensions and medical care, continuing a push begun in the past decade to strengthen a tattered social safety net, it said.

The annual plenary sessions of the NPC and the CPPCC National Committee are known as China's "two sessions."

The AFP said China opened its annual parliamentary season Wednesday with a call from the Chinese leadership to keep up economic growth, maintain social stability and tackle a yawning urban-rural income gap.

The two gatherings were the Chinese leadership's chance to showcase its efforts to tackle the key challenges facing the country, and economic concerns looked set to top that list, it said.

Online, The Wall Street Journal Asia Edition said in an article the NPC's annual session would kick off Friday and this year's theme "naturally" was the economy.

In a talk with China's netizens last week, Premier Wen Jiabao said "while it is the government's responsibility to expand the 'pie' of national wealth, it is the government's conscience to distribute it in an adequate manner," the article said.

The Yonhap news agency said the Chinese government was speeding up its economic transformation after the global financial crisis because it realised it could not overcome future crises with its current economic structure dominated by cheap exports. China should keep a balanced development of service sectors and agriculture, and nurture the domestic market, it said. Economic transformation would be one of the hot topics of this year's NPC, it said.

Yonhap said, although the Chinese economy was gradually recovering, China faced some serious problems, such as the widening urban-rural gap.

China recently focused on migrant workers, eyeing the new generation of migrant workers born in the 1990s, and would discuss the making of the medium- and long-term layout for migrant workers.

The Wall Street Journal said, while the 2009 NPC was obsessed with attaining an 8 percent growth rate, the priority for this year's session was to ensure a more equitable distribution of national income.

A commentary on the website of Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao said that, from the perspective of China's economic development, it was in accordance with the needs of expanding China's consumption and transforming its economic growth mode for the country to gradually annul the dualistic structure between city and countryside, promote urbanization, scrap social welfare policies that discriminated against farmers, and ensure farmers' equal rights with urban dwellers.

One of the major reasons for the long-term inequality between city and countryside was China didn't have a big enough "pie" to ensure the fair distribution of interests, it said.

Canada's leading public policy magazine Policy Options said in a commentary that the Chinese leadership was paying more and more attention to the demands of the poor in remote regions.

From the list of the central government's financial expenditures, it could be found that the government would heavily invest on infrastructure development and maintenance, medical reforms, poverty reduction and education, it said.

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