Li receives resounding support for work report

By ZHAO HUANXIN (China Daily)
Updated: 2014-03-14 02:24

Premier Li Keqiang's first Government Work Report was given ringing endorsement by national lawmakers at the closing of the annual legislative session on Thursday, indicating a high degree of consensus has been reached to translate the reform-themed document into action.

The work report, made by Li after a year in office, ranks reform as the top priority for the government in 2014.

Li receives resounding support for work report 

NPC deputies leave the Great Hall of the People after the closing session on Thursday. Xu Jingxing / China Daily 

The report won an extraordinary 2,887 yes votes from legislators present at Thursday's meeting. Only 15 voted against it, and five abstained.

The result made the report the one with the highest rate of yes votes in recent years under similar circumstances, Beijing News quoted an unidentified member of the report-drafting team as saying on Thursday.

China's Constitution stipulates that the State Council or Cabinet is subject to the oversight of the top legislature and must submit the government's work for its review and deliberation.

Cheng Guoqiang, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council, said he was not surprised that Li's first-year work report had received overwhelming support.

"Behind the figures of yes and no votes, you can see the popular will of the people," Cheng said.

The government's utmost resolve for pushing ahead reform and improving the economy and people's livelihoods has been fully manifested in the report, and this fits in with the expectations of the masses, he said.

Li had participated in the making of the report from the very beginning, and the formal document was adorned with remarks characteristic of Li, according to Xiang Dong, chief of the State Council's research office.

For example, Li said in the report "never to have stretches of rundown areas exist side by side with high-rise buildings", and "prevent poverty from being passed to future generations."

Xiang, also a member of the government work report drafting team, told Beijing News that the premier had emphasized that "what we cannot deliver must not be written in the report."

Based on suggestions from NPC deputies and CPPCC members, 16 revisions were made to the report, according to a statement released at the end of the legislative session.

One addition to Li's report is "cultivating a new type of professional farmer" listed as a key task for the government this year.

Liu Jie, a division director with the Department of Vocational and Adult Education under the Ministry of Education, said fostering professional farmers is crucial to answering the pressing question, "Who feeds China?"

The average age of grain farmers in China is nearly 50, and 70 percent of them have only a junior high school education, according to earlier Chinese newspaper reports.

"But an investment of a small portion of time and money will make a big difference for a raft of issues, like food safety," Liu said.

Grooming professional farmers, now listed as a priority for the government's work this year, will bring tremendous change to rural production and life, the official said.

The Ministry of Education, along with the Ministry of Agriculture, will launch a training program for professional farmers, "buying" farmers' time to have them educated at secondary vocational schools, Liu said.

Other revisions to Li's report on the work of the government include "promoting the use of new-energy vehicles" to help check choking smog, and "building a harmonious doctor-patient relationship" to address the festering animosity that some patients have toward doctors and other health professionals in some hospitals.