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Reports: China sets new plan for GDP
Updated: 2005-10-13 08:44

China's communist leaders have drawn up a plan for the next five years that calls for doubling the country's gross domestic product per person to about $1,700 in 2010, from $854 in 2000, reports said Wednesday.

The economic blueprint, released following a four-day annual meeting of the top leadership, calls for raising living standards while improving the efficiency of China's use of energy and other resources, said domestic media.

Energy use per unit of GDP must be reduced by 20 percent from 2005, the plan says.

The plan also reiterates China's determination to build up internationally competitive industrial groups, improve social welfare and reduce the number of people living in poverty.

The plan calls for "social fairness" and working toward closing the gap between the urban rich who have benefited most from China's 20-year economic boom and its vast poor majority in the countryside.

The report put the average annual income in 2000 at $854. Average annual incomes for farmers now are about 3,000 yuan ($370) per person, while annual incomes in the booming cities average more than $1,000 per person.

"Pushing economic development and improving people's lives have always been the central task of China," the party's communique said.

"The income and living standards of Chinese people will be raised, while the quality of housing, communication, education, culture, public health and the environment will be improved remarkably."

China's economy has been growing at a rate of more than 9 percent for the past two years and is expected to grow 9.2 percent this year, according to the most recent government forecasts.

Although growth is expected to slow to a slightly more moderate 8.5 percent next year, the party vowed to keep growth "fast and stable" to help create jobs and reduce poverty.

Some 26 million people were living in absolute poverty last year, with annual per capita incomes of less than 668 yuan ($80) that left them without adequate food and shelter. By international standards, which put minimum income at a minimum of $1 a day, the number of poor is much higher.

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