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President calls for sustainable development
Updated: 2004-04-05 14:14

President Hu Jintao has called for a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable approach to the country's economic and social development with the people put before everything.

President Hu Jintao. [File photo]
The full text of a key note speech by President Hu Jintao on the country's strategies for population, resources and the environment was made public Sunday, calling for a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable approach to the country's economic and social development with the people put before everything.

Hu, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), made the speech on March 10 in Beijing at a national meeting on population, resources and the environment, with the presence of major provincial Party and government leaders.

Hu said China must follow the scientific concept of development, which has been endorsed by the central authorities as the new guidelines for the country's social and economic development.

Hu described the concept as an idea of strategic significance, saying it is based on the country's experiences during the past two decades, including the important lessons learned during the country's fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and those of other countries during their economic and social development process.

China was found poorly prepared early last year when hit by the sudden outbreak of SARS due to a lack of strategy on such a public health crisis and a sound public health system.

The concept calls for the country to set all-round human development as its target in economic and social development, and to strive to safeguard the economic, political and cultural rights and interests of the general public to make sure the economic and social progress bring benefit to all of its people, said Hu.

The income gaps have been widened dramatically in China alongside the double-digit economic expansion since 1978, particularly between the prosperous industrializing coastal areas and the impoverished western region.

Hu said the country should strive for all-round economic and social progress, balance development between cities and the countryside and between different regions, promote harmonious development between mankind and nature, and coordinate domestic development while opening to the outside world.

The president urged efforts to be dedicated to economic development to enhance the national strength and on this basis to promote an all-round progress of society and the people.

Efforts should be intensified to improve the quality and efficiency of economic growth, coordinate economic development with the population, resources and the environment, and protect and improve the sustainability, he said.

Efforts are also needed to strive to improve the social awareness of saving resources across the country and protecting the environment to realize harmony between mankind and nature, he added.

On challenges China faces, the Chinese leader listed the increasing pressure of population growth, employment, education and aging population, and the shortage of oil and other major natural resources, and illegal and excessive exploitation of mineral resources and depletion of farmland.

On the country's population and birth control work, Hu called for efforts to formulate a medium- and long-term population development strategy, and to stabilize the existing low birth rate, while looking for ways to resolve the outstanding problems facing its 1.3 billion population.

He urged the toughest measures to protect farmland and hard work to develop maritime resources, and prevent and control geological disasters, with emphasis placed on areas around the Three Gorges Reservoir.

Officials who violate the laws and policies on population, the environment and resources shall be punished according to law and the Party's discipline, while market-oriented reforms will be deepened to give full play to the fundamental role of markets in distributing resources and pricing resources products to prompt the corporate world to lower costs and reduce consumption of resources.

The government will continue its intervention in areas of population, resources and the environment, such as increasing investment, regulating market supplies and demand for land and some important mineral resources, and encouraging the development of resources-efficient sectors, while restricting the expansion of sectors that consume too many resources and produce too much pollution with low technology.

Hu said China will continue to improve laws on population, resources and the environment, and create better conditions for the general public to take part in the undertakings of population, resources and the environment.

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