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Concerns on wealth gap, migrant jobless

PREMIER Wen Jiabao said that narrowing the gap between rich and poor could not be achieved "in a static state" and should be done alongside economic development.

Wen acknowledged that China's social and economic development had the problem of "imbalanced, discordant and unsustainable" growth.

The major problem was the imbalance between different regions, between urban and rural areas, and the imbalance in income, he said.

"A fair society should enable all citizens to enjoy the fruits of reform and development," he said, going on to quote Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments."

Wen said that if a society's wealth was concentrated in the hands of a small number of people, this was against the popular will and the society was bound to be unstable.

"Therefore, we are highly concerned with the problem of the gap between the rich and the poor," he said.

He said he didn't believe justice and equality could be achieved without social development.

"Only development and progress can help people get out of poverty," Wen said, vowing the government would gradually narrow the gap between rich and poor.

Wen showed his concern over the country's jobless migrant workers and other unemployed people and encouraged them to create jobs themselves. He said he had been deeply concerned over the employment issue, including those of migrant workers, college graduates and jobless urban families.

Responding to a migrant worker's online question that he could not find a job and he hoped to get small loans to start his own business, Wen said: "Your requirement is reasonable. Employment is not only related to one's livelihood but also one's dignity."

"Migrant workers were a special social group born in China's social transition after the initiation of reform and opening-up," Wen said. "They did not complain much and quietly returned to their hometowns. Some went back to farming; others are still looking for jobs."

"I want to take the opportunity to extend my gratitude to our migrant workers," he said, adding they had made a great contribution to the nation.


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