Gov't focuses on broader benefits
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-03 06:35
China's economy is likely to be heading for another year of galloping
development, but how to make more Chinese people reaping the benefits is still a
challenge for the government.
Think-tank economists, researchers and President Hu Jintao have spoken of
their New Year expectations and concerns.
Powered by domestic economic development and worldwide recovery, China's
economy is expected to see stable development this year following a growth rate
of 9.8 per cent in 2005.
Ou Xinqian, vice-minister of National Development and Reform and Commission,
announced that growth rate over the weekend. The rate was a little higher than
in 2003 and 2004, when growth of 9.5 per cent was recorded.
The year 2001 saw a rate of 7.5 per cent and in 2002, 8.3 per cent was
The latest figure means China is in another economic circle of fast
"The circle is likely to continue due to vibrant buying, investment and
foreign trade," said Zhang Liqun, a senior researcher at the State Council
Development Research Centre, the central government's think-tank.
At a recent economic discussion, he said the rising number of car and house
purchases, the vigour of regrouped State-owned enterprises and foreign
investment and trade will mean continuous progress in China's economic
Pushed along by the United States, China and India, world growth in 2006 is
likely to continue, albeit at a slightly slower rate than in 2005, said some
experts. Meanwhile, possible expansion in the Japanese economy and the euro zone
could also offer some support for global momentum.
"China, in turn, will benefit from world growth, which will create more
investment opportunities," said Bi Jiyao, vice-president of the Overseas Economy
Research Institute affiliated to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Despite rapid economic progress, growing inequality between the rich and the
poor, a very tough job market, higher prices and a grim workplace safety record
have been troubling the government, said Li Peilin, a senior sociologist with
the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
President Hu promised in his New Year address that the government would "make
all of its people benefit from reform and development" while maintaining rapid
and efficient economic growth.
And the government has been working hard on social harmony, pledging the
country will "put people first, foster a socialist harmonious society and give
top priority to resolving urgent problems facing the overwhelming majority of
The government has already announced that it will increase the minimum living
allowance for needy people, offer free compulsory education in rural regions,
and expand the network of rural co-operative medical care.
All the measures show that "fostering a harmonious society" is high on the
government's economic agenda, said the experts.
However, they said social problems, which have cropped up during robust
economic development and industrialization, could not be solved overnight.
(China Daily 01/03/2006 page2)