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Li Keqiang delivers 2014 reform blueprint

03-05-2014 12:36 BJT Special Report: China’s Leaders |
Special Report: 2014 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

By CCTV reporter Han Bin

China's economy will continue to grow within a "reasonable range", with a growth target of around 7.5 percent, and more economic reforms. Those were the key pledges made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, when he outlined the government's plans for the upcoming year, at the opening of the National People's Congress on Wednesday morning.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers the government work report during the opening
meeting of the second session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2014.
(Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

The NPC meets annually in Beijing, it's China's supreme organ of state power, and a chance for representatives to offer suggestions to central government.

China is in the spotlight with a blueprint for 2014. It's Premier Li Keqiang's first work report since taking office. Addressing some 3,000 NPC deputies, Li sent out a clear message, the country needs greater and deeper reforms.

"We must break mental shackles and vested interests with great determination. We must pursue economic structural reform as a key step within deeper comprehensive reforms in all areas." Li said.

The Premier listed some key areas: administrative systems, tax, the financial sector, rural land ownership, household registration, and social welfare.

Li Keqiang pledged to streamline government structures, and let markets play a "decisive" role.

The target for the annual growth has been set at 7.5 percent, lower than last year's 7.7 percent.

Premier Li says the government will maintain a "reasonable pace" of GDP growth, while continuing to improve growth quality, enhance efficiency and reduce negative side effects.

Many believe the continued drive for reform will mean slower but more sustainable long term growth.

One key factor in that change will be how successfully China shifts from investment and export fuelled growth, towards increased domestic consumption.

The government is also determined to cure the headline-grabbing issue of air pollution by introducing stricter emission controls.

And there was a strong emphasis on Law in the Premier's speech.

"We will fully implement the basic strategy of law-based governance, act in accordance with the law in all our government work, and be guided by law in both thinking and action in performing our duties," Li said.

Li said corruption will be punished without mercy, with a number of new initiatives to expose wrongdoing at high levels. But meeting public expectations on beating corruption remains a tough task.

Li Keqiang also reviewed the government's work in 2013. He highlighted the new government's achievements on growth, coupled with improved living standards.

Over the next two weeks, NPC lawmakers will review the work report. They'll raise suggestions and vote on national policies.

Premier Li Keqiang's work report signals that China is in the "deep water" of reforms as it moves toward a more open, market-oriented economy. Navigating the course is likely to require serious changes in just about every aspect of life. Lawmakers agree on the need. But there are many breakers for the government to clear before reaching the shore.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers the government work report during the opening meeting of
the second session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the
People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2014. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)


Editor:James |Source:

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