REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE GOVERNMENT
Delivered at the First Session of the Eleventh National People's Congress
on March 5, 2008
Premier of the State Council
On behalf of the State Council, I would now like to deliver to you a report on the work of the government over the past five years and on the arrangements for its work this year for your deliberation and approval and also for comments and suggestions from the members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
I. Review of the Work of the Past Five Years
The past five years since the First Session of the Tenth National People's Congress was a momentous period. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), governments at all levels and people of all the ethnic groups in China diligently followed the guiding principles set out at the Sixteenth CPC National Congress and worked in concert and with dedication. We vigorously responded to the complex and volatile international environment, strove to overcome various difficulties hindering economic and social development, and prevailed over the sudden and severe outbreak of SARS and catastrophic natural disasters such as the recent snow and ice storms in the south that the region has rarely seen before. We made major achievements in reform, opening up and modernization, which attracted the attention of the world.
- The economy reached a new high. China's GDP in 2007 reached 24.66 trillion yuan, an increase of 65.5% over 2002 and an average annual increase of 10.6%, rising from the sixth highest one in the world to the fourth. Total government revenue reached 5.13 trillion yuan, a 171% increase over 2002. Our foreign exchange reserves exceeded US$ 1.52 trillion.
- The agricultural tax was rescinded, ending the centuries-old practice of farmers paying taxes. China's grain output rose four consecutive years to reach 501.5 million tons in 2007.
- Major progress was made in the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the financial system, fiscal and taxation systems, the system of foreign trade and economic cooperation, and the administrative system. China has entered a new stage in developing a more open economy. Total volume of imports and exports reached $2.17 trillion in 2007, raising China from the sixth largest trading nation in the world to the third largest.
- Good progress was made in efforts to make China more innovative, and a number of major scientific and technological innovations with international impact were made. Manned space flights and our first moon exploration project were successfully carried out.
- Free compulsory education was made available to all rural students, marking an important milestone in the history of the development of education in China. The basic frameworks for a public health system and a system of basic medical services covering both urban and rural areas have been put in place.
- Steady improvement was made in the urban and rural system of public cultural services. Significant progress was made in reform of the cultural management system, and the development of cultural programs and cultural industries was accelerated. The Shanghai Special Olympics was successfully held. Preparations for the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing and the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai proceeded smoothly.
- Progress was made in developing democracy and the legal system and in enhancing law-based government. Greater efforts were made to safeguard people's rights and interests and ensure social fairness and justice.
- People's living standards improved significantly. Fifty-one million urban jobs were created over the past five years. Urban per capita annual disposable income rose from 7,703 yuan in 2002 to 13,786 yuan in 2007, and rural per capita annual net income rose from 2,476 yuan to 4,140 yuan during the same period. The basic framework for a social safety net for both urban and rural areas was put in place. The number of people living in poverty was reduced every year.
All these improvements fully demonstrate that during the past five-year period great strides were made in carrying out reform and opening up and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. During this time the productive forces and overall national strength were significantly improved, social programs were comprehensively developed, people received even greater benefits and China's international standing and influence constantly grew.