By 2020, the country's per capita GDP will be four times what it was in 2000, Hu Jintao said in his report to the 17th Party Congress yesterday.
But the rapid growth will be under the conditions of reduced consumption of resources and greater efforts in environment protection, he said on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.
"We will quadruple the per capita GDP of the year 2000 by 2020 by optimizing the economic structure and improving economic returns while reducing consumption of resources and protecting the environment," the Party general secretary said.
This goal is much higher than the target set by the CPC five years ago at the 16th National Congress, which was to quadruple the GDP value, without the mention of per capita, by 2020.
Five years ago, the 16th CPC National Congress outlined its aim to quadruple the 2000 GDP figure by 2020 through optimizing economic structure and improving efficiency.
China's GDP has been growing at an annual rate of more than 10 percent for the past four years and topped 20 trillion yuan ($2.7 trillion) in 2006.
But the fast growth has been realized "at an excessively high cost of resources and the environment," Hu said.
In 2006, the per capita GDP was $2,042, up $339 (17 percent) on the previous year, He Chuanqi, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said.
The new goal is one of the major tasks Hu outlined in his report to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, which was put forward at the last CPC National Congress.
In addition to promoting balanced development to ensure sound and rapid economic growth, the new requirements for building a moderately prosperous society include expanding socialist democracy and safeguarding people's rights and interests as well as social equity and justice.
Meanwhile, more work should be done to enhance the cultural and ethical quality of the whole nation, and promote a conservation culture by basically forming an energy- and resource-efficient and environment-friendly structure of industries, pattern of growth and mode of consumption.
Concerning the requirement of improving people's well-being, Hu said a basic system of social security will cover both urban and rural residents so everyone is assured basic living standards.
A reasonable pattern of income distribution will be basically in place, with middle-income earners making up the majority and absolute poverty basically eliminated. Everyone will have access to basic medical and health services.
Hu forecast that by 2020 China will have basically accomplished industrialization, with its overall national strength significantly increased and its domestic market ranking as one of the largest in the world.
It will also be a country where people are better off and enjoy a markedly improved quality of life and a good environment. The people will have more extensive democratic rights, show higher ethical standards and look forward to greater cultural achievements.
By that time, China will have better institutions in all areas and society will have a greater vitality coupled with stability and unity. The country will be more open and friendly to the outside world and make a greater contribution to civilization.
For the next five years, which is "a crucial period" for attaining the goal, Hu called on the Party to work hard to lay a more solid foundation on which to build a moderately prosperous society to the benefit of all Chinese.
(China Daily 10/16/2007 page6)