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Meeting stresses economy, health
( 2003-07-22 07:04) (China Daily)

More efforts will be made to promote economic development and develop public health and sanitation in the rest of this year, the country's leading officials said yesterday in Beijing.

More measures should be taken to lift the country's economy out of the shadow of the Iraq War as well as the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in the early half of this year, according to the meeting, which was attended by members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

President Hu Jintao, who is also the CPC general secretary, presided over the meeting.

China's economy grew 6.7 per cent in the second quarter of this year over the same period of last year -- the lowest rate for the period since 1992, due to the SARS outbreak.

However, thanks to persistent efforts to boost the economy, the country's gross domestic product still rose a year-on-year 8.2 per cent to 5 trillion yuan (US$602 billion) during the first half of this year.

The SARS crisis exposed the fragility of China's public health system and made improving it more urgent, Xinhua quoted the meeting as saying yesterday.

Leading officials called for injecting more funds into the construction of public health facilities and carrying forward reform of the public health system, especially in rural areas.

The country's disease prevention and control system and public health supervision system should be upgraded, they said.

In another development, the CPC Central Committee has invited non-Communist party representatives and persons without party affiliation to attend another meeting to offer their opinions on the country's economic development and the upgrading of public health system.

The participants suggested the establishment of a national disaster prevention and reporting system, expand consumption, reduce unemployment and improve the social security system to help the needy, according to Xinhua.

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