Report on the Work of the Government [full text]

Updated: 2007-03-17 13:03

The following is the full text of the Report on the Work of the Government delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the Fifth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress on March 5, 2007:


Delivered at the Fifth Session of the

Tenth National People's Congress on March 5, 2007

Wen Jiabao

Premier of the State Council

Fellow Deputies,

On behalf of the State Council, I would now like to present to you my report on the work of the government for your deliberation and approval. I also welcome comments and suggestions on the report from the members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

I. Review of the Work in 2006

China began implementation of and made a good start on its Eleventh Five-Year Plan in 2006, making major achievements in economic and social development.

-The economy experienced steady and fast growth. China's GDP was 20.94 trillion yuan, an increase of 10.7% over the previous year. The consumer price index rose by 1.5%. For four years in a row, economic growth has reached or slightly exceeded 10% without significant inflation.

-Economic performance improved steadily. National revenue reached 3.93 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 769. 4 billion yuan. Profits of large industrial enterprises rose 31%, an increase of 444.2 billion yuan.

-Implementation of the reform and opening up policy was deepened. Further progress was made in reforms in key areas and crucial links. China's import and export volume totaled US$ 1.76 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 23.8%. Paid-in foreign direct investment reached $69.5 billion.

-Development of social programs was accelerated. Major achievements were made in scientific and technological innovation, there was continued development of education, the public health system was improved and progress continued in cultural and sports programs.

-People's living standards improved substantially. A total of 11.84 million urban residents entered the workforce. Urban per capita disposable income rose to 11,759 yuan, an increase of 10.4% in real terms after adjusting for inflation, and rural per capita net income grew to 3,587 yuan, an increase of 7.4% in real terms after adjusting for inflation.

These achievements mark a further increase in China's overall strength and represent another solid step toward the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

The main work accomplished in 2006 includes the following.

1. Macroeconomic regulation was strengthened and improved. The central government adopted a series of timely macroeconomic regulatory measures to address major problems affecting economic performance, such as overheated investment, excessive money and credit supply and serious trade imbalance. We strengthened land regulation by strictly controlling the expansion of land used for construction and took stern actions against violations of laws and regulations concerning land use. We strengthened supervision of money supply and credit, raised the basic interest rate on RMB loans twice and raised the reserve requirements for financial institutions three times. We strengthened the role of fiscal and tax measures in regulating economic activities. We tightened the examination and approval process, oversight and inspection of new projects to be launched on the market. We strengthened regulation and oversight of the real estate market to improve the mix of market housing available. These macroeconomic regulatory measures started to work, resulting in a drop in the growth rate in fixed asset investments and slower growth of the bank credit supply. We thus prevented rapid economic growth from becoming overheated growth and avoided drastic fluctuations.

2. Work related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers was intensified. Steady progress was made in building a new socialist countryside. Central government budgetary spending on agriculture, rural areas and farmers reached 339.7 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 42.2 billion yuan. We rescinded the agricultural tax and taxes on special agricultural products nationwide, ending a tax that had been collected on grain farmers in China for more than 2,600 years. We continued to increase direct subsidies to grain farmers for producing grain and subsidies for growing superior seed varieties and purchasing agricultural machinery and tools, and followed a policy of granting general subsidies for agricultural production supplies. In addition, we continued the minimum purchase price policy for key grain varieties in major grain-producing areas and increased transfer payments to counties and townships with financial difficulties and major grain-producing counties. Despite serious natural disasters, the output of major agricultural products increased steadily. Grain output reached 497.46 million tons, registering the third consecutive annual increase. We worked harder to develop rural infrastructure, including roads, water conservancy, electricity and communications, and made safe drinking water available to another 28.97 million rural residents and the use of methane available to an additional 4.5 million rural families, thereby improving working and living conditions in rural areas. We made continued progress in reducing rural poverty through development, lifting 2.17 million rural people out of poverty. We formulated and implemented policies and measures to address the difficulties rural migrant workers in cities face and strengthened protection of their legitimate rights and interests by addressing the problems of low wages and unpaid wages, standardizing labor management pursuant to the law, improving job training and expanding the social safety net.

3. Adjustment of the economic structure was accelerated. We formulated policies and measures to accelerate the development of the equipment manufacturing industry and promoted independent development of major technologies and independent production of major equipment in key areas. We began to independently manufacture mega kilowatt nuclear power generators, ultra-supercritical thermal power generating units and new types of ships, and launched major projects such as those to produce high-grade digitally controlled machine tools and key manufacturing equipment. We also formulated and implemented policies and measures to carry out structural adjustments in 11 industries, including the steel, coal and cement industries. As a result, there was significant decline in the growth rate of investment in some industries with surplus production capacity and total investment for new planned projects dropped significantly. We closed down backward coal production facilities totaling 110 million tons in capacity and electrolytic aluminum production facilities totaling 1.2 million tons. A number of projects vital to China's economy were completed and put into operation and some others were started. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway was opened to traffic, all generating units at the Three Gorges Left Power Station were completed and put into operation, and construction of the Xiangjiaba Hydropower Station on the Jinsha River began. All this will play an important role in sustaining economic development.

We placed greater emphasis on saving energy and protecting the environment. We improved policies on saving energy and reducing emission of pollutants, and established a general responsibility system for meeting energy saving and pollution discharge reduction targets. We strengthened energy conservation in key industries, enterprises and projects, and conducted pilot projects to develop the circular economy. We worked hard to prevent and control water pollution in key river valleys and regions, such as the Three Gorges Reservoir area, the Songhua River, the sources and routes of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, and the Bohai Sea. We carried out key environmental protection projects to desulphurize emissions from coal-fired power plants, treat urban sewage and dispose of waste safely. To ensure environmental safety, we launched the fourth annual nationwide campaign to punish enterprises that illegally discharge pollutants. We worked hard to protect and improve the ecosystem. Progress was made in the current stage of the campaign to restore order in and standardize the exploitation of mineral resources. Geological prospecting was intensified.

We continued to follow the overall strategy for regional development. We continued to make solid progress in the large-scale development of the western region, and the work of rejuvenating northeast China and other old industrial bases proceeded smoothly. We began implementation of the policy to boost the development of the central region. The eastern region made further achievements in leading the country in development.

4. The process of reform and opening up was accelerated. We made comprehensive plans for overall rural reform. Steady progress was made in the reform of the system of collective forest rights. Further progress was made in adjusting the distribution of the state sector of the economy, introducing the shareholding system in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and overseeing state-owned assets. Government functions were separated from the management of postal operations, and reform of the electricity management system continued. Significant progress was made in introducing a shareholding system in state-owned commercial banks; the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China were successfully listed on domestic and overseas stock exchanges, and considerable headway was made in the current stage of the reform of rural credit cooperatives. The reform of the shareholder structure in listed companies was basically completed, and the basic systems of the securities market were strengthened. Reform of the insurance industry was deepened. Reform of the foreign exchange administration system was gradually deepened. Continued improvement was made in the fiscal and tax systems. Smooth progress was made in reforming the civil servant salary system and standardizing the pattern of income distribution. A thorough campaign to improve market order was launched.

We adjusted the trade mix by improving policies concerning export tax rebates, tariffs and processing trade and by controlling the export of products whose manufacture is highly energy consuming or highly polluting. We made energetic efforts to increase imports. The structure of foreign investment use was improved, and service industries, including banking, retail sales and telecommunications, were further opened up. We deepened and expanded economic exchanges and trade with other countries. We encouraged enterprises to invest overseas and cooperate with overseas-funded enterprises. We fulfilled all the commitments we made for China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and improved economic systems, laws, regulations and policies related to doing business with other countries.

5. We worked hard to develop social programs. We increased funding for social programs. The central government spent 77.4 billion yuan on science and technology, 53.6 billion yuan on education, 13.8 billion yuan on health and 12.3 billion yuan on culture, representing year-on-year increases of 29.2%, 39.4%, 65.4% and 23.9% respectively.

We promoted innovation in science and technology. The Outline of the National Program for Long- and Medium-Term Scientific and Technological Development (2006-20), which took two years to formulate, has been issued and is being implemented, and related special programs and supplementary policies and measures have been formulated. Sixteen major projects were launched, including projects to develop giant oil and gas fields and coal seam gas, design and develop a new generation wireless broadband mobile communications network, design and produce large aircraft, develop manned spacecraft and explore the moon. We made breakthroughs in key technologies such as a high-performance computer, super high-quality hybrid paddy rice, third generation mobile communications and digital television, and increased China's capacity for independent innovation.

We put education high on the development agenda. A total of 184 billion yuan was allocated by both central and local governments to fund rural compulsory education, enabling us to pay tuition and miscellaneous fees for the 52 million rural students receiving compulsory education throughout the western region and in some areas in the central region, provide free textbooks to 37.3 million students from poor families and grant living allowances to 7.8 million students staying in dormitories. Of the 410 targeted counties, 317 reached the goals of making nine-year compulsory education generally available and basically eliminating illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults. The proportion of the target population attaining these two goals in the western region increased to 96% from the 77% of 2003. The central government spent 9 billion yuan over the past three years building facilities for 7,651 rural boarding schools. Eight billion yuan was spent to develop modern primary and middle school distance education f or rural areas. The project covers over 80% of the rural primary and middle schools in the central and western regions and enables over 100 million students to have access to high-quality education resources. New enrollment at secondary vocational schools totaled 7.41 million and total attendance reached 18.09 million. Total attendance at institutions of higher education reached 25 million and the gross enrollment ratio rose to 22%.

We worked to strengthen medical and health care services. Work to set up a disease prevention and control system with a wide range of functions that covers both urban and rural areas and a medical treatment system for public health emergencies has been basically completed. Work was begun to set up a rural health service system, and 2.7 billion yuan from the sale of treasury bonds was allocated by the central government for the development of medical and health care facilities at the county, township and village levels. Trials of a new type of rural cooperative medical care system were extended to 1,451 counties, county-level cities and city districts, covering 50.7% of the country's total number of counties, county-level cities and city districts and 410 million rural residents. With 4.27 billion yuan allocated by the central government and additional local government funding, we raised the allowances for rural participants in the cooperative medical care system significantly. Development of the community-based system of urban medical services was accelerated. Subsidized medical care was improved for urban and rural residents. The central government allocated 5.1 billion yuan to support local government efforts to improve public health care services. Substantial progress was made in preventing and controlling major diseases such as AIDS.

We energetically developed culture and sports. The press and publishing, radio, television, film, literature and art, philosophy and the social sciences flourished. Culture-related facilities, especially in rural areas, were improved. The project to expand radio and television coverage in rural areas was extended from incorporated villages to unincorporated villages. Continued progress was made in the project to build multi-use cultural centers in communities, towns and townships and the national shared database project for cultural information and resources. Reform of the cultural management system was deepened. Development of the culture industry was accelerated, and cultural exchanges with other countries were increased. Sports activities for the general public were extensively developed, and the level of competitive sports continued to improve. Efforts to promote socialist cultural and ethical progress were strengthened.

6. We worked hard to increase employment and improve social security work. We continued to improve and implement policies on employment and reemployment, and the central government allocated 23.4 billion yuan for employment and reemployment efforts. We created jobs through a variety of channels, stepped up vocational and technical training, provided support and assistance to zero-employment households and people who have difficulty finding employment, and helped 5.05 million laid-off workers find new jobs. The goal set out in 2004 to basically solve the longstanding problems of defaults on payment to construction companies and unpaid wages for rural migrant workers in the construction industry within three years was basically met. A total of 183.4 billion yuan has been paid to construction companies, paying off 98.6% of the total amount owed to them. This payment included 33 billion yuan in overdue wages for rural migrant workers.

The social safety net was strengthened. Trials to fully fund personal accounts for basic old-age insurance of enterprise employees were expanded to eight more province-level localities on the basis of the pilot project in the three provinces in northeast China. After years of effort, the work of incorporating basic cost of living allowances for workers laid off from SOEs into the unemployment insurance system has been basically completed. Basic pension benefits for retired enterprise employees were increased. The coverage of the social security system was further expanded, revenue from social security premiums increased, and oversight and management of social security funds was strengthened. The basic framework of a social assistance system for both urban and rural residents was set up, and charity programs continued to grow. The central government spent 13.6 billion yuan on basic cost of living allowances for urban residents, 2.4 billion yuan more than the previous year, and local governments also increased their spending on these allowances to varying degrees. A system of basic cost of living allowances for rural residents was initiated in 2,133 counties, county-level cities and city districts in 25 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government, benefiting 15.09 million residents. Funding for providing food, clothing, medical care, housing and burial expenses for childless and infirm rural residents now mainly comes from the government budget instead of depending on rural collectives. Assistance for orphans and protection for homeless juveniles were strengthened. Allowances for all types of entitled groups were increased significantly, with an 11.2 billion yuan allocation from the central government budget, a 47% increase from the previous year. We improved the policy for compensating people whose land has been expropriated to build large or medium-sized reservoirs and for assisting people displaced for reservoir projects, benefiting 22.88 million persons. This longstanding problem is now being gradually solved.

Last year, some areas in China were hit by natural disasters of a severity seldom seen in history, including typhoons and droughts. We promptly took steps to carry out disaster relief work and rebuild disaster-hit areas. The central government raised some disaster relief allowances and allocated 11.2 billion yuan in relief funds to help disaster victims get back on their feet.

7. We continued to strengthen democracy and the legal system. Democracy at the community level made continued progress. Government-sponsored legislation was further improved. The State Council submitted seven bills to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation, including the Law on Corporate Income Tax (draft), the Antitrust Law (draft), the Law on Response to Emergencies (draft) and the revised Compulsory Education Law (draft), and promulgated 29 sets of administrative regulations, including the Regulations on AIDS Prevention and Control and the Regulations on the Administration of Overseas-Funded Banks. We accelerated development of government by the rule of law and implemented the Administrative Permit Law, the Civil Service Law, and the Program for Advancing All Aspects of Government Administration in Accordance with the Law. Oversight in the form of supervision and auditing was strengthened. Steady progress was made in reform of the judicial administrative system and its working mechanisms. The work of addressing public complaints registered by means of letters and visits was strengthened. In public security, continued improvements were made in the crime prevention and control system and extensive efforts were made to promote peace and security. Significant progress was made in work focused on improving conditions in areas with poor public security and in addressing serious public security issues. An all-out effort was made to build clean government and combat corruption and a campaign to combat bribery in business was launched. A number of major cases involving government offices and their employees were investigated and dealt with, and a number of people guilty of corruption were punished to the full extent of the law.

Work related to ethnic groups, religions, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese was further improved. We continued to make progress in modernizing national defense and the army. Significant progress was made in China's diplomatic work.

Looking back on our practical experience, we have come to the following conclusion: We must free our minds, follow a realistic and pragmatic approach, keep pace with the times, work hard with a pioneering and innovative spirit, unswervingly take the road of Chinese socialism, adhere to the reform and opening up policy, pursue development according to scientific principles, maintain social harmony during development and ensure peaceful development. Only by doing so can we attain the ultimate objectives we have set for modernization.

We owe our successes to the correct overall leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary and to the concerted efforts and hard work of cadres and the people across the country. On behalf of the State Council, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the people of all our ethnic groups, the democratic parties, people's organizations and persons from all walks of life. I would also like to sincerely thank our compatriots from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese. My sincere thanks also go out to all the friends of China around the world who care about and support China's modernization.

However, we are clearly aware that there are still many difficulties and challenges in China's economic and social development and some shortcomings and inadequacies in the work of the government.

First, there are still serious structural problems in the economy. There is a lack of proper balance among primary, secondary and tertiary industry, urban and rural development and development among different regions are not balanced, and the pattern of investment does not reflect consumer demand. Agriculture, the base of the economy, remains weak, and it is now more difficult than ever to steadily increase grain production and keep rural incomes growing. The overall scale of investment in fixed assets is still too large, the problem of excess liquidity in the banking system is serious, and the factors causing overheated investment and excess credit still remain. The trade surplus has become large, and the imbalance in international payments has worsened.

Second, the pattern of economic growth is inefficient. This can be seen most clearly in excessive energy consumption and serious environmental pollution. The targets for saving energy and reducing pollutant emissions were set forth in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan. This is of vital importance in efforts to promote the change in the pattern of economic growth and increase energy conservation and environmental protection. All local governments and government offices did a great deal of work and made much headway in these areas over the past year. While energy consumption per unit of GDP for the previous three years rose by 4.9%, 5.5% and 0.2% respectively, it dropped by 1.2% in 2006. Growth in total emission of major pollutants declined, chemical oxygen demand rose 1.2%, down from an increase of 5.6% the year before, and discharge of sulfur dioxide rose 1.8%, down from a 13.1% gain in the previous year. However, we fell short of the targets set at the beginning of last year for cutting energy consumption per unit of GDP by about 4% and total discharge of major pollutants by 2%. The main reasons were: Industrial restructuring proceeded slowly, while growth in heavy industry, especially in sectors that are high in energy consumption or are highly polluting, was still overheated. Many backward production facilities that should have been closed down are still in operation. Finally, some local governments and enterprises failed to strictly comply with laws, regulations and standards for energy saving and environmental protection, and it will take time for relevant policies and measures to produce the desired results. Meeting these two mandatory targets in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan is very important. The targets cannot be revised, so we must work resolutely to reach them. The State Council will make annual reports on the progress made in saving energy and reducing emissions to the NPC starting this year, and at the end of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period it will report on the overall progress made over the five years.

Third, a number of serious problems affecting the people's interests have not been properly addressed. Problems in food and drug safety, medical services, education charges, housing, income distribution, public security and production safety remain a source of public concern. Problems arising in land expropriation and requisition, housing demolition, transformation of enterprises into stock companies and environmental protection that harm the interests of the people have not been fundamentally solved. Life remains difficult for many low-income people.

Fourth, the government's efforts to improve its performance still have room for improvement. Moves to change the way the government functions have not made the expected progress, non-separation of government administration and enterprise management remains a problem, and the responsibilities of some government offices are not clear, leading to low productivity. Expenses related to carrying out official duties have not been standardized, and extravagance and waste are inflating administrative costs. In some local governments and government offices and among a small number of their employees, there are problems of bureaucratism, formalism, isolation from the people, neglect or dereliction of duty and even abuse of power and corruption. The root cause of these problems lies in institutional deficiencies and poor oversight.

We must maintain a strong sense of responsibility to the country and the people and take more forceful measures to solve them in order to live up to the expectations of the people.

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