Hu: Key for 2007 is to spread growing wealth more fairly

Updated: 2007-01-01 10:02

Chinese President Hu Jintao said that it will be vital in 2007 for the Chinese government to spread the country's growing wealth among its have-nots, in a New Year's speech.

"It is an important year in building a socialist harmonious society," Hu said in a nationally televised speech Sunday.

"Harmonious society" is the official phrase for efforts to spread China's newfound prosperity more evenly.

China's booming economic growth in the last several decades has pulled hundreds of millions out of poverty, but a growing wealth gap in recent years has exposed cracks that Hu and his government have acknowledged threatens social stability.

"The government will exert more efforts in addressing social problems concerning people's lives, and will also save resources and protect the environment," Hu said while standing behind a podium with the national flag to his side.

He said there was a need to push forward economic restructuring in order to achieve fast yet sustainable growth.

There are concerns that China's double-digit growth is too reliant on investment and exports. Chinese leaders are also worried that a surge in credit and spending will ignite inflation or leave companies and lenders with dangerously high debt.

Hu reiterated Chinese government's efforts on seeking the peaceful reunification with Taiwan.

He said China would "never give up efforts on promoting peaceful reunification, never change the policy of pinning hope on Taiwan people and never compromise on opposing Taiwan independence secessionist activities."

Hu said that internationally, problems such as terrorism, environmental pollution, natural disasters and fatal infectious diseases have become more common, and China would work with other countries to combat them.

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