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Premier Wen bids farewell, expresses gratitude

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-07 00:51

BEIJING - The soon-to-retire Premier Wen Jiabao expressed gratitude for having the chance to serve the Chinese people, as well as expressed confidence in his successor, on Wednesday.

He made the remarks when attending a panel discussion with deputies from southwest China's Sichuan Province at the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), the country's national legislature.

"As I am about to retire, I have deep respect and gratitude for the people. I hope our country's future will be better and better and that its people will be happier and happier," he said.

Quoting an ancient Chinese poem suggesting that young birds sing more beautifully than older ones, he said he believes his successor will do a better job than he did.

"The past decade was extraordinary in the country's development history. I am very grateful and have cherished the chance to serve the country," he said.

Wen said he has pushed reform forward, boosted the economy, improved livelihoods and promoted social progress since the beginning of his tenure.

He said the government worked to realize the wishes of the people and that its performance is subject to the evaluation of the people.

"In those years, if I did something good for the people, it would be the result of their trust, understanding and support. All credit should go to the people," he said.

If I did not do enough, it would mean that I was not competent enough. I beg forgiveness from the people," he said.

 Wen, who has served as premier since 2003, delivered a government work report at the opening meeting of the national legislative session on Tuesday for the last time.

Deputies will elect a new premier during the ongoing session.

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