BEIJING - As China prepares to outline its national economic and social development plan for the next five years, a public opinion campaign is being launched in which foreigners are being invited to submit their recommendations, officials said on Tuesday.
Zhang Ping is head of the National Development and Reform Commission.
"Before the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) is finalized, it's necessary to listen to opinions and suggestions from all communities," said Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Public input is welcomed on a series of key issues, such as encouraging domestic consumption, increasing the pace of urbanization and taking the process of opening-up to a new level, Zhang said at a press conference organized by the International Communication Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
After soliciting public opinion and analyzing economic data, China will set specific targets for economic growth, economic restructuring, consumer prices, environmental protection and low-carbon development in the 12th Five-Year Plan, which will be approved in March 2011, Zhang said.
"Channels for collecting comments and suggestions are also open to foreigners and foreign agencies," said Sun Yue, an official of the NDRC's development planning department.
Over the next two months, individuals and agencies can send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org, preferably in either Chinese or English.
Comments from those who live overseas can be submitted to media organizations like China Daily and People's Daily Overseas Edition, Sun said.
The European Chamber of Commerce told China Daily on Tuesday that it welcomes the government's decision to expand input on the 12th Five-Year Plan.
"The extended consultation is an important step toward more transparency," it said in a statement, in which it added that the Chamber is willing to submit constructive suggestions on draft policies if given the opportunity.
"We're paying close attention to China's plan for the next five years, as it has great significance to Canadian companies and investors," said Daniel Cheng, managing director of the Canada China Business Council.
"We're pleased to see the Chinese government welcomes feedback from foreign businesses, which shows China is continuing its process of opening-up and internationalization," Cheng said.
E.B. Rajesh, an Indian who has lived in Shanghai for two years, said he might make suggestions via e-mail.
"I live in China, almost like a Chinese citizen. All these issues affect my life and I'd like to see improvements in the environment," he said.