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CPC high-level session discusses major political, economic issues
( 2003-09-29 23:58) (Xinhua)

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee met on Monday to discuss plans on major political and economic issues, such as economic restructuring, proposed revision of the nation's Constitution, and revitalization of the old industrial base in northeast China.

Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Party's Central Committee, presided over the meeting.

The Political Bureau decided at the meeting to submit two major documents to the Third Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee, scheduled for Oct. 11-14, for deliberation.

The two documents are a draft decision by the CPC Central Committee on some issues related to the improvement of the socialist market economic system, and a draft proposal of the CPC Central Committee on revising part of the Constitution.

The Political Bureau called for efforts to ensure the country's strategy on revitalizing the old industrial base in northeast China, describing it as a long-term and arduous task.

It also stressed the need to continue the strategy to develop its vast but impoverished western region, and support the central part of the country for faster economic and social development.

Efforts should be made to encourage some developed areas in the eastern region to take the lead in the country's modernization drive, and promote coordinated economic and social development on a regional basis, the Political Bureau said.

The Chinese government decided in early September it is the right time for China to turn those rusty industrial centers in northeast China and other parts of the country into modern industrial ones, making them new and important growth areas of the national economy.

Covering the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, the northeast region played a major role in the industrial development of China in 1950s to early 1970s.

The northeast contributed China's first batch of steel, machine tools, locomotives and planes after the founding of New China in 1949, and still has potential in these fields.

However, many of the traditional industrial enterprises that were established in the 1950s when China adopted a planned economic system, became less competitive, and some have been losing money over the past 20 years, during which time China implemented the policies of reform and opening up to the outside world, and moved from a planned economy toward a market economy.

The proportion of the region's industrial output value to the national total dropped to 9 percent from a record 17 percent. Some loss-making state-owned industrial enterprises were closed, resulting in mass unemployment.

Xu Zemin, a research fellow with the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, said the revitalization program is expected to make the northeastern region a new economic growth area following the flourishing Pearl River Delta in the south, a result of the reform drive, and the Yangtze River Delta in the east.

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