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Premier Li Keqiang meets the press today

Updated: 2013-03-17 08:02


Li said urbanization is the logical result of modernization and the scale of China's urbanization is quite big and has attracted the attention of the world.

Urbanization should help farmers to realize their dreams of having the same living standards as urban residents.

New urbanization should come together with industrialization of the agricultural sector. China's east and west regions should pursue organized urbanization.

Urbanization is a complex project and needs to be supported by many reforms.

Government’s priorities for the future

The 18th Party Congress has already laid out a comprehensive plan for the government’s work. First, we need to strive for sustainable development. We must be prepared for danger in times of safety because the future economic environment of China will remain harsh and complex. We need to maintain sustainable economic growth, prevent inflation and control potential risks so as to avoid major fluctuations in the Chinese economy. Domestic demand is crucial for China to maintain an average growth rate of 7 percent, which is necessary for China to realize the targets set for 2020. We need to promote economic transition and combine the potentials of domestic demand and the vigor of creativity so as to further upgrade quality, efficiency, employment, people’s incomes and environmental protection and resources conservation.

Second, we need to improve people’s livelihoods, especially among low-income groups, and expand middle-income groups. We need to ensure basic necessities for people and develop a social safety net to include compulsory education, medical care, elderly care and housing. We need to improve the subsistence allowance system and provide assistance to people suffering from major diseases. The government will mobilize all resources and do its utmost to ensure the basic rights and dignity of the people.

Third, we need to ensure social fairness, which is the source of societal creativity and yardstick of the government’s work. We need to make sure the hard work of all people, no matter from urban or rural areas, and regardless of their family backgrounds, is rewarded. We also need to make sure all wealth creators, be they State-owned, private or individually run businesses, can achieve success as long as they compete in a level playing field and in a clean and honest way.

Three things are essential for the government to achieve these goals. An innovative government will further unleash the creativity of the economy and society. A clean government will be more credible, effective and efficient. The government must work abiding by laws and nobody can exceed the boundary of law. The rule of law is essential to build a modern economy, modern society and modern government.

Li on government overhaul

The plan for institutional reform and transforming the government function has drawn a lot of attention. Is this your ideal plan? How can the reform achieve the goal of streamlining administration, delegating power to the lower levels and transforming government function?

The core of this reform plan is to transform the government function and streamline administration. We can say the institutional reform is to optimize the distribution of the government’s internal power, and the transforming function is to redefine the relations between the government and society and between government and the market.

Frankly speaking, let the market and society decide what they are capable of accomplishing. The government should manage affairs well in what it is supposed to do.

Institutional reform is not an easy task. However, the function of transformation is a tougher one because it is more profound.

The administrative examination and approval system is too complicated to improve efficiency. So the government’s transformation work has to be started with reforming that system. Right now, departments of the State Council still hold the approval rights of more than 1,700 items, the government of this term has made up its mind to cut more than one-third of its approval items.

Use the market to replace the improper roles of government. This is a self-imposed revolution and it will be painful, like cutting the wrist. But it is needed to develop and deliver the want of people. We should have the determination to cut the wrist like brave warriors. We should practice what we preach and cannot afford to dwell on the trivial.

Government to increase care for most needed

Premier Li said that the Chinese government needs to increase care for the most needed to prevent them from challenging the society. The government has to ensure the people's rights to existence and their human dignity, Li said at a press conference.

Streamline administrative approval

Li Keqiang said Sunday that the State Council will cut the existing 1,700 administrative approval items by at least one third.

Li stresses loyalty to people and law

Li Keqiang emphasized his loyalty to the people and the law on Sunday in his opening remarks at his first news conference as Chinese Premier.

He started by thanking reporters for their coverage of the two political sessions, before introducing the vice-premiers one by one and expressing his gratitude to the people and deputies for their trust.

The wants of the people will point the direction for the government’s future efforts, and the new government will work by strictly following the Constitution, he said.

On China-Russia relations

President Xi’s upcoming visit to Russia itself illustrates the importance of China-Russia relations. I remember when I visited Russia last year, Russian leaders directly said China-Russia political relations are already very good and asked why we don't spend more time on talking about practical cooperation.

I feel strongly that Russian leaders are eager to enhance bilateral tangible cooperation and make use of the complementary advantages in terms of trade. Two-way trade between China and Russia stands at $80 billion. I think through our joint efforts, it will not be a problem to double the trade.

China and Russia are working together to push forward practical cooperation and strengthen coordination in regional and international affairs. Cement bilateral relations will not only beneficial for the countries, it will also help maintain regional and world peace. In fact, China and its neighboring countries are working together to promote mutual-beneficial cooperation and make full use of the each country’s advantages … to fuel the peaceful development in the Asia-Pacific.

On Li's political experience

Li used to be an educated urban youth in Fengyang of Anhui province. Fengyang was a well-known poor village at that time and also the cradle of the reform of the rural contract system.

What he learned from his past study and work is that he believe only by being honest and working with a fair attitude can a man benefit the people and society.

Premier Li Keqiang meets the press today

Premier Li Keqiang waves to reporters before the news conference in Beijing, March 17, 2013. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]