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FACTBOX: China in past five years (I)

01-04-2011 08:36 BJT

BEIJING, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- China faced severe challenges over the past five years, from the global financial crisis to massive earthquakes. However, the steps in the ongoing development, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, have never stopped.

The following are some facts and figures on the development of China during the period.

China posted an annual GDP growth of more than 10 percent, while the GDP per capita exceeded 4,000 U.S. dollars.

Progress was made in socialist democracy and law-based government administration, the culture industry and social construction.

People's livelihoods were improved with a series of efforts in education, employment, income distribution, social security and health care.

Exchanges between China and the rest of the world were enhanced through events such as the Beijing Olympic Games, Shanghai World Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games.

CHINA'S SWIFT REACTION TO CRISES

The central government introduced flexible, timely and forceful measures, based upon the changing domestic and international economic environment in the past five years.

The focus of economic control was shifted from preventing economic overheating and inflation to ensuring economic growth, people's livelihoods and stability.

Fiscal policy was changed from "neutral" to "proactive", while monetary policy went from "prudent," "tight," "moderately loose" and then back to "prudent."

The government's flexible and effective response to the global financial crisis quickly reversed China' s economic growth slowdown, realizing a V-shaped rebound and prompting the country to take the lead in the worldwide economic recovery.

In the past five years, China's economy has maintained a stable and relatively fast expansion. Its GDP is expected to surpass 38 trillion yuan (5.74 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2010, more than double that in 2005.

The central and local governments took a series of measures in expanding demand, boosting consumption, promoting independent innovation, and developing emerging industries of strategic importance, in an effort to accelerate the transformation of its economic growth mode.

Efforts were made to better coordinate urban and rural development, deepen reforms in taxation and pricing mechanisms, and allow private capital to invest in more areas.

The government also enhanced policy support to promote the development of the culture industry, which accounted for 2.5 percent of the nation's GDP in 2009, up 0.4 percentage points from 2004.

Meanwhile, more efforts were made to encourage employment, perfect income distribution, improve social security, medical treatment and public health, to improve people's livelihoods.

Further, the government also intensified its efforts to promote low-carbon technologies and develop a recycling economy, to build a resource-saving and environmentally-friendly society.

UNITED AS ONE IN FACE OF DISASTERS

After the devastating Wenchuan earthquake struck in 2008, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, traveled to the quake-hit areas in Sichuan to direct the relief work. He also went to the provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu to inspect post-quake reconstruction and the resettlement of victims.

He returned to China from the middle of an overseas trip in April, 2010 because of the Yushu earthquake. He met with the other members of the Standing Committee of CPC Central Committee Political Bureau on the rescue and relief work and then flew to the quake-hit areas.

Other senior leaders,, including Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang also went to the quake areas to direct disaster relief and reconstruction.

The past five years also witnessed people bringing water and food for strangers who were stranded amid bad weather, people donate money for victims of disasters, and saw citizens travel to disaster-hit areas to offer their personal assistance, as provinces and cities sought to do what they could to assist those with difficulties.

"A nation that draws lessons from natural disasters will be stronger and invincible," said Hu Jintao.

After the Wenchuan earthquake, the legislature revised the law to set stricter construction standards for schools and hospitals.

The three-year reconstruction plan for Wenchuan was completed one year ahead of schedule and necessities were in place for Yushu residents before winter came. The reconstruction of mudslide-hit Zhouqu was also in full swing.

PEOPLE-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT

The CPC Central Committee has always taken people's living standards as both the starting point and ultimate goal of their work.

Free compulsory education was offered in western rural areas in 2006 and was expanded to the entire country in 2008. In 2010, the country formulated the national education plan for the next decade.

Efforts were also made to boost employment. More than 57 million jobs were created in urban areas during the past five years and the transfer of surplus agricultural labor involved 45 million rural residents. The urban unemployment rate had been brought to within 4.3 percent.

The social security network was improved, with 125 million people being covered by basic medical insurance and 1,100 counties and county-level cities and districts implementing the new old-age insurance system for rural residents.

Also, the authorities in April 2009 unveiled a three-year plan for national health care reform with an investment of at least 850 billion yuan, with an emphasis on the nature of public benefits.

China began the construction of 5.9 million low-income housing units in 2010, and plan to begin the construction of another 10 million units next year. (to be continued)

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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