BEIJING -- The international press has given extensive coverage to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's government work report at the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) which started on Thursday, and praised China's persisted target of 8 percent annual economic growth in the face of the world financial crisis.
The French-based AFP reported that despite the turbulence and recession of the world economy, "Wen forecast China can sustain eight percent economic growth in 2009, boosting hopes China's export-driven economy will cope with the crisis."
"Asian markets rallied for a second day after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday reaffirmed his government's growth aims, triggering gains across the region in China-related stocks," it reported.
On Thursday, the benchmark Nikkei-225 climbed 142.53 points to 7,433.49, up 1.95 percent.
The British news agency Reuters said: "Premier Wen Jiabao assured on Thursday that China will achieve 8 percent growth this year despite a deepening financial crisis, setting out export support and spending programs to shore up the economy."
Wen said China's budget deficit this year will reach 950 billion yuan (140 billion dollars), and though he did not announce fresh economic stimulus, his assurances helped extend a rally in Asian markets, Reuters reported.
The US-based Associated Press (AP) said: "China rolled out an aggressive government spending program on Thursday, promising ramped-up outlays for infrastructure and social programs to ward off the global economic downturn and forestall unrest."
The German Press Agency (dpa) said China seeks to bolster the economy against the effects of a global slowdown.
China announced a record annual budget deficit of 950 billion yuan (140 billion dollars), but Wen stressed that the deficit was below 3 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP), remaining "within the acceptable range of what our overall national strength can bear and is therefore safe," dpa said.
The Financial Times said Premier Wen pointed out that the international environment is becoming more complex and the financial crisis is further deepening. But China will meet its goal of 8 percent economic growth as long as the Chinese government establishes right policies, takes proper measures and pushes for effective implementation.
Both the Financial Times and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that the ongoing meetings of the NPC and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) drove up international stock markets on Wednesday, saying the Chinese economy has become a favorable factor for bourses around the globe.
The Daily Telegraph said the economic stimulus plan announced by China last year concentrated on infrastructure, but Wen stressed the need to care about the healthcare and social insurance systems, especially in rural regions.
The Swedish Broadcasting Corporation said Wen pinpointed China's target of 8 percent growth in his report, and expounded the importance to increase employment and control the registered urban unemployment rate at under 4.6 percent.
New Zealand TV said the international community is closely watching developments of China's two annual conferences at a time when the global economy is undergoing a big recession.
As a result of China's plan to expand its domestic demands and a series of the Chinese government's economic stimulus packages, quite a few stock markets have rebounded in the past two days, the TV report said.
Premier Wen asked Chinese enterprises to consolidate their market shares in the traditional export destinations and do their utmost to explore the emerging markets, under a circumstance that global demands have been falling drastically and against a backdrop that trade protectionism is re-emerging, Interfax reported.
Wen encouraged Chinese small- and medium-sized enterprises to cultivate name brands for export, it said.
China is a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion. It must maintain a reasonable pace of economic growth to raise the employment rate both in urban and rural areas, increase people's incomes and safeguard social stability, another Russian news agency said.
World Daily, the biggest Chinese newspaper in the Philippines, said in an editorial that the annual NPC meeting is being held when the global financial storm is hitting every corner of the world. Nearly 3,000 deputies will discuss national policies and put forward feasible suggestions.
China's economic development this year will have an important effect on its growth in coming years. Therefore the deputies attending the critical meeting shoulder great responsibilities, the daily said.