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Vice premier sees economic progress, problems


19:44, April 10, 2013

BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said the country has maintained steady economic and social development since the beginning of the year, but warned of "difficulty and problems" in the economy.

His remarks came during an inspection tour to Shanxi Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from April 6 to 9, according to a statement released by the State Council on Wednesday.

Local governments should be prepared for problems and risks facing the economy in order to promote sound economic development and maintain stability, Zhang said.

The vice premier cited an unreasonable economic structure, insufficient scientific innovation and increasing resource and environmental restraints as outstanding problems hindering the country's development.

Zhang called for more economic restructuring efforts in order to effectively address overcapacity and curb redundant construction.

He said the government should rely more on scientific and technological innovation to drive the economy, as well as urged local governments to better protect the environment and reduce pollution.

China's central and western regions can serve as a new source of growth, given their important positions and great potential, he said, adding that they should actively develop industries with local advantages.

He encouraged central and western regions to turn their abundant resources into economic advantages, adding that they need to reduce the number of polluting enterprises with outdated production capacity.

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