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Chinese premier welcomes suggestions for annual work report

CHINESE Premier Wen Jiabao invited non-Communists party members, economic and social scholars, people from business, technological, educational, health, cultural and sports sectors as well as workers and farmers to his work place over the past week, soliciting input for a draft government work report to be submitted to the annual parliament session next month.

Five forums were held between Feb. 6 and 13 at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in downtown Beijing. Vice-premiers Li Keqiang, Hui Liangyu, Zhang Dejiang, Wang Qishan and other senior officials were present.

Wen thanked the participants for their contributions, saying that their suggestions would be very helpful in improving the government work report and the work of the government.

He said China "must have a profound understanding of the severity of the international financial crisis and uncertainties caused by it, fully gauge the difficulties ahead and be more decisive in taking policy measures".

"We should strengthen confidence that the country's economic fundamentals and the optimistic trend remain unchanged. We certainly have the confidence, conditions and capabilities to overcome difficulties," the premier said.

He emphasized the importance of "scientific and democratic decision making" so that government's work will pass the tests of practice and people".

Participants at the meetings agreed that the year 2008 had been an unusual year for China. They hailed China's success in combating major natural disasters, hosting the Olympic Games and coping with the global financial crisis.

They noted that in arranging government work in 2009 the draft government work report shows a clear thinking, contains strong measures and sticks to the core task of securing economic growth amid the financial crisis.

Leaders of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang and other non-Communist parties made suggestions concerning rural development, boosting of domestic demand, energy-saving and environmental protection, small enterprises and improvement of people's livelihood, during their meeting with Wen.

Ten economic and social scholars suggested that efforts must be made to coordinate relations such as boosting domestic demand and stabilizing export, increasing investment and stimulate consumption, adjusting structure and using technological support and promoting growth and improving people's livelihood.

"We should strengthen agricultural foundation, expand urban and rural employment, especially that of college graduates and rural migrant workers, and accelerate reforms in investment, financial and social fields, " they proposed.

Board Chairman of the Chinese auto maker Chery Yin Tongyao said the government should encourage Chinese enterprises to build more domestic brands so as to gain more advantage in international competition.

Zhou Houjian, board chairman of the Hisense Group, one of China's major electric appliance producers, suggested the government should expand the scale of selling home appliances at a discount in rural areas as farmers could greatly benefit from it, companies gain more markets and the economy be stimulated.

Representatives from the education, science and technology, culture, health and sports sectors contributed suggestions on improving the quality of college education, the development of vocational and rural education, the reform of the health sector, and the development of the entertainment industry, among others.

Thirteen "grassroots" representatives - some of them farmers, migrant workers, college graduates, doctors and teachers - also made proposals on house construction and orphan care in quake zones, farming technologies promotion, transferring of migrant workers' insurance when they shift jobs and transformation of college graduates' employment concept.

The second session of the 11th National People's Congress and the second session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are to be convened on March 5 and March 3 respectively in Beijing.


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