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Hu Jintao delivers report to CPC national congress


Photo taken on Oct. 15, 2007 shows the opening ceremony of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The congress will last seven days till Oct. 21.  [Xinhua Photo]


Hu Jintao delivers a report at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Oct. 15, 2007. The congress, which opened in Beijing at 9 a.m. on Monday, will last seven days till Oct. 21.  [Xinhua Photo]

Hu Jintao charts roadmap for China: sustainable growth, greater democracy

China will continue to power the engine of economic growth by quadrupling the per capita gross domestic production (GDP) of 2000 by the year 2020. And the rapid growth will be under the condition of reduced consumption of resources and greater efforts in environmental protection.

China will also manage to narrow the yawning income gap, expand democracy for its 1.3 billion people, modernize its 2.3 million armed forces, enhance the soft power of its culture, and work to sign a cross-Straits peace agreement on the basis of one-China principle.

Hu Jintao, general secretary of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), outlined the country's ambitious goals for economic, political and social developments, as well as the nation's position on the world stage, at the 17th CPC National Congress on Monday.

Moderately prosperous

While mentioning the phrase "reform and opening up" more than 30 times in his two-and-half-hour keynote speech, Hu said that China will quadruple the per capita value of GDP in the coming 13 years and complete the building of "a moderately prosperous society in all respects."

The goal is much higher than the target set by the CPC five years ago at the 16th National Congress which was to quadruple the GDP value, without the mention of per capita, by 2020, observers noted.

Moreover, the new goal must be achieved "through optimizing the economic structure and improving economic returns while reducing consumption of resources and protecting the environment," Hu said in his report.

China's GDP has expanded by an annual average of over 10 percent in the past five years, but it is realized at an excessively high cost of resources and the environment, he acknowledged.

Hu drew an enticing blueprint for the moderately prosperous society as a large developing socialist country with an ancient civilization, which has "basically accomplished industrialization, with its overall national strength significantly increased and domestic market ranking as one of the largest in the world." It will also feature markedly improved livelihood for the people, more extensive democratic rights, higher ethical standards, greater social vitality coupled with stability and unity.

The principle of "putting people first" has been a long-time guideline of the CPC, resulting in the abolishment of ancient agricultural tax and the implementation of free education in poor rural areas in the past five years.

In this regard, Hu pledged to deepen the reform of the income distribution system for reversing the growing income disparity in the years to come.

A reasonable and orderly pattern of income distribution will be basically in place, he said, "with middle-income people making up the majority" and absolute poverty basically eliminated.

Detailed plans were also included in Hu's report on improving the people's livelihood, to ensure that all the people enjoy their rights to education, employment, medical and old-age care, and housing.

Expanding democracy

The Chinese characters for democracy (Minzhu) turned up to be one of the most extensively used political concept in Hu's report, showing up at least 60 times.

China will "expand people's democracy and ensure that they are masters of the country," Hu told more than 2,200 delegates attending the congress, telecast live by national TV and radio stations.

China need to improve institutions for democracy, diversify its forms and expand its channels, and carry out democratic election, decision-making and administration and oversight in accordance with the law to guarantee the people's rights to be informed, to participate, to be heard and to oversee, Hu said.

Hu also said that the CPC will "expand intra-Party democracy to develop people's democracy" by increasing transparency in Party affairs and "opposing and preventing arbitrary decision-making by an individual or a minority of people."

With the recent promotion of two non-Communists -- Wan Gang and Chen Zhu -- to cabinet ministers, Hu promised that the Party will "select and recommend a greater number of outstanding non-CPC persons for leading positions."

Hu vowed to continue to intensify anti-graft fight "to see to it that all cases involving violation of law and discipline are thoroughly investigated and dealt with, and all corruptionists are severely punished according to law without fail."

Hundreds of thousands of corrupt officials, including former Shanghai Party chief Chen Liangyu, were nabbed in the past five years. In 2006 alone, more than 90,000 members of the Party were disciplined, statistics show.

The ancient Chinese philosophy of harmony has been enshrined in China's domestic policies, and China is also introducing it to the world by calling for building a harmonious world.

Hu also said China is to modernize its armed forces but stressed that "China follows a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, and it does not engage in arms race or pose a military threat to any other country."

"China opposes all forms of hegemonism and power politics and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion," he said.

Hu condemned the forces of "Taiwan independence" for stepping up their secessionist activities and seriously jeopardizing the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. He made a "solemn appeal" that "on the basis of the one-China principle, let us discuss a formal end to the state of hostility between the two sides, reach a peace agreement, construct a framework for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and thus usher in a new phase of peaceful development."

Hu also summed up the achievements China has made in the past five years and in the past three decades since the reform and opening up policy was initiated, while paying passionate tribute to the three generations of CPC leadership headed by Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin for their glorious legacies in building New China.

Hu Jintao: no tolerance towards corruption

The Communist Party of China (CPC) bears zero tolerance to corruption and the crackdown on it must be effectively strengthened, Hu Jintao said on Monday in his report to the 17th CPC National Congress.

"The CPC never tolerates corruption or any other negative phenomena," said Hu on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee, stressing that "resolutely punishing and effectively preventing corruption is crucial to the popular support for the Party and its survival."

Pointing out that fighting corruption will be a protracted, complicated and arduous battle, Hu called upon Party members to carry out the campaign in a comprehensive way, addressing both its symptoms and root cause and combining punishment with prevention.

Resolutely cracking down on corruption, the Party should work harder to remove its root cause and take preventive measures through improving relevant institutions, Hu said.

Since 2002 when the 16th CPC National Congress was convened, the Party has punished a large number of high-ranking officials, including former Shanghai Party Chief Chen Liangyu and China's former top statistician Qiu Xiaohua.

Statistics show that more than 110,000 Party members were punished in 2005, accounting for 0.16 percent of all members. The number of being punished dropped to some 90,000 last year, about 0.14 percent of the total members.

Founded in 1921, the Party has governed the country for 58 years since 1949, and its current membership totals more than 70 million.

Saying that "the task of educating and managing its members has become more arduous than ever before," Hu expressed the confidence in fulfilling the three historical tasks of advancing the modernization drive, achieving national reunification, and safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

Hu against arbitrary decision-making in the Party

Efforts should be made to oppose and prevent arbitrary decision-making by an individual or a minority of people in the Party, Hu Jintao said in his report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday.

The Party will strictly implement democratic centralism, improve the system that combines collective leadership with division of responsibilities among individuals, said Hu on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

He said local Party committees will adopt a voting system in discussing and deciding on major issues and appointing cadres to important positions.

The Party will establish a sound system under which the Political Bureau of the Central Committee regularly reports its work to plenary sessions of the Central Committee and accepts their oversight, and the standing committees of local Party committees at all levels do likewise to plenary sessions of local Party committees and accept their oversight, Hu said.

The Party will reform the intra-Party electoral system and improve the system for nominating candidates and electoral methods.

Hu also vowed to gradually extend direct election of leading members in primary Party organizations, and explore various ways to expand intra-Party democracy at the primary level.

Hu Jintao mentions "democracy" more than 60 times in landmark report

The Chinese characters for democracy (Minzhu) turned up to be one of the most extensively used political concepts in Hu's keynote speech on Monday to the landmark national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), showing up at least 60 times.

China will "expand people's democracy and ensure that they are masters of the country," Hu told more than 2,000 delegates to the congress, telecast live by national TV and radio networks.

Hu also said that the CPC will "expand intra-Party democracy to develop people's democracy" by increasing transparency in Party affairs and "opposing and preventing arbitrary decision-making by an individual or a minority of people."

China needs to improve institutions of democracy, diversify its forms and expand its channels, and carry out democratic election, decision-making and administration and oversight in accordance with the law to guarantee the people's rights to be informed, to participate, to be heard and to oversee, Hu said at the opening of the 17th National Congress of the CPC.

Saying that the people are masters of the country, Hu proposed that both urban and rural areas gradually adopt the same ratio of deputies to the represented population in elections of deputies to the people's congresses.

To ensure "scientific and democratic decision-making," Hu called for improving the information and intellectual support for it, increasing its transparency and expanding public participation in it. "In principle, public hearings must be held for the formulation of laws, regulations and policies that bear closely on the interests of the public."

Hu pointed out that the most effective and extensive way for the people to be masters of the country is that they directly exercise democratic rights in accordance with the law to manage public affairs and public service programs at the primary level, practice self-management, self-service, self-education and self-oversight, and exercise democratic oversight over cadres.

On enhancing intra-Party democracy, Hu called on Party organizations at all levels and all Party members to "take the lead in upholding the authority of the Constitution and the law."

The Party will strictly implement democratic centralism, improve the system that combines collective leadership with division of responsibilities among individuals.

"Local Party committees will adopt a voting system in discussing and deciding on major issues and appointing cadres to important positions," he said.

The Party will establish a sound system under which the Political Bureau of the Central Committee regularly reports its work to plenary sessions of the Central Committee and accepts their oversight, and the standing committees of local Party committees at all levels do likewise to plenary sessions of local Party committees and accept their oversight, Hu said.

The Party will reform the intra-Party electoral system and improve the system for nominating candidates and electoral methods.

Hu also vowed to gradually extend direct election of leading members in primary Party organizations, and explore various ways to expand intra-Party democracy at the primary level.

CHECKS AND BALANCE

Hu also promised to accelerate the separation of the functions of the government from those of enterprises, state assets management authorities, public institutions and market-based intermediaries, standardize administrative practices, strengthen administrative law-enforcement agencies, reduce the number of matters requiring administrative examination and approval and standardize such procedures, and reduce government intervention in microeconomic operations.

He urged to improve the mechanism of restraint and supervision, stressing that "power must be exercised in the sunshine to ensure that it is exercised correctly". He said organic laws and rules ofprocedure should be improved to ensure that state organs exercise their powers and perform their functions within their statutory jurisdiction and in accordance with legal procedures.

"As an important part of China's overall reform, political restructuring must be constantly deepened along with economic and social development to adapt to the growing enthusiasm of the people for participation in political affairs," Hu said.

Hu Jintao calls for building harmonious world

People of all countries should work together in building a harmonious world, Hu Jintao said in his report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday.

"We maintain that the people of all countries should join hands and strive to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity," said Hu on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

Peace and development remain the main themes of the present era, and pursuit of peace, development and cooperation has become an irresistible trend of the times, Hu said.

At the same time, the world remains far from tranquil and world peace and development faces many difficulties and challenges, Hu said.

Sharing opportunities for development and rising to challenges together so as to further the cause of peace and development of humanity is the fundamental interests of the people of all countries and meet their common aspirations, Hu said.

To this end, Hu proposed that all countries uphold the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, observe international law and universally recognized norms of international relations, and promote democracy, harmony, collaboration and win-win solutions in international relations.

-- Politically, all countries should respect each other and conduct consultations on an equal footing in a common endeavor to promote democracy in international relations.

-- Economically, they should cooperate with each other, draw on each other's strengths and work together to advance economic globalization in the direction of balanced development, shared benefits and win-win progress.

-- Culturally, they should learn from each other in the spirit of seeking common ground while shelving differences, respect the diversity of the world, and make joint efforts to advance human civilization.

-- In the area of security, they should trust each other, strengthen cooperation, settle international disputes by peaceful means rather than by war, and work together to safeguard peace and stability in the world.

-- On environmental issues, they should assist and cooperate with each other in conservation efforts to take good care of the Earth, the only home of human beings.

Hu said that whatever changes take place in the international situation, the Chinese government and people will always hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, safeguard China's interests in terms of sovereignty, security and development, and uphold its foreign policy purposes of maintaining world peace and promoting common development.

Reiterating that China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, Hu said China opposes terrorism, hegemonism and power politics in any form and does not engage in arms race or pose a military threat to any other country, and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.

Pointing out that China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, nor can the world enjoy prosperity and stability without China, Hu said "China will never seek benefits for itself at the expense of other countries or shift its troubles onto others."

Hu Jintao appeals for "peace agreement" with Taiwan

With secessionist activities stepped up in Taiwan island and cross-Straits relations in jeopardy at present, Hu Jintao in a keynote speech on Monday called for discussion with the Taiwan side on a formal end to the state of hostility and reaching a peace agreement under the condition of one-China principle.

"Here we would like to make a solemn appeal: On the basis of the one-China principle, let us discuss a formal end to the state of hostility between the two sides, reach a peace agreement, construct a framework for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and thus usher in a new phase of peaceful development," Hu said in a report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Delegates to the seven-day congress hailed the remarks as a guideline for the Chinese mainland's work on cross-Straits relations over the next five years. They said that the speech reflects the continuous stance of the CPC Central Committee on cross-Straits ties and the Party's tradition of seeking truth from facts and keeping up with the times.

Hu Jintao said the forces for "Taiwan independence" were stepping up their secessionist activities, seriously jeopardizing the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. "The mainlandside is ready to conduct exchanges, dialogue, consultations and negotiations with any political party in Taiwan on any issue as long as it recognizes that both sides of the Straits belong to one and the same China."

"We will make every effort to achieve anything that serves the interests of our Taiwan compatriots, contributes to the maintenance of peace in the Taiwan Straits region, and facilitates peaceful national reunification," he said.

Hu reiterated the Party's long-time stance that the mainland side "will never waver in our commitment to the one-China principle, never abandon our efforts to achieve peaceful reunification, never change the policy of placing our hopes on the people in Taiwan and never compromise in our opposition to the secessionist activities aimed at 'Taiwan independence'."

"China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division, and any matter in this regard must be decided by the entire Chinese people including our Taiwan compatriots," he said.

"We are willing to make every effort with the utmost sincerity to achieve peaceful reunification of the two sides, and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any name or by any means," he said.

In the past five years leading up to the current CPC National Congress, political parties on both sides of the Taiwan Straits started communication, and the Anti-Secession Law was enacted to resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Hu: China to modernize army for self-defense, world peace

With the completion of reducing 200,000 troops, China is to speed up the pace of modernizing its armed forces in the next five years and more, for self-defense and maintaining world peace.

Hu Jintao made the remarks on behalf of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in a keynote speech at the 17th CPC National Congress on Monday.

Hu Jintao vows to "reverse growing income disparity"

In a keynote speech to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Hu Jintao said in Beijing Monday that China will deepen reform of the income distribution system to reverse the growing income disparity in the country.

"We will increase transfer payments, intensify the regulation of incomes through taxation, break business monopolies, create equal opportunities, and overhaul income distribution practices with a view to gradually reversing the growing income disparity," he said at the opening of the congress.

He stressed that equitable income distribution is an important indication of social equity.

A reasonable and orderly pattern of income distribution will be basically in place, with middle-income people making up the majority and absolute poverty basically eliminated, Hu said.

"Vigorous efforts will be made to raise the income of low-income groups, gradually increase poverty-alleviation aid and the minimum wage, and set up a mechanism of regular pay increases for enterprise employees," Hu said.

He pledged that conditions will be created to enable more citizens to have property income, and the Party will protect lawful incomes, regulate excessively high incomes and ban illegal gains.

Hu also detailed other plans for social development with the focus on improving people's livelihood, to ensure that all the people enjoy their rights to education, employment, medical and old-age care, and housing, so as to build a harmonious society.

China has scored glaring economic gains since the reform and opening drive launched three decades ago, but the countryside lagsbehind, causing concerns that the urban and rural gap might undermine social harmony.

From 2002 to 2006, the per capita income of Chinese farmers hasrisen by an annual average of 6.2 percent. For the first time since 1985, the growth rate has exceeded 6 percent for three straight years.

But the gap is still widening. The income of urban residents in 2006 was 3.28 times that of rural ones, up from 3.22 in 2005 and 3.21 in 2004.

The country's Gini coefficient, an international measurement of income disparity, is estimated to have exceeded the danger level of 0.4. The country's richest 10 percent of families possess more than 40 percent of the nation's wealth, while the poorest 10 percent only have two percent.

The regional wealth gap is also yawning, with the per capita GDP of the country's most wealthy province over 10 times greater than that of the poorest province.

The 17th National Congress of the CPC is the year's most important political event that will chart a roadmap for the country's all-round development in the coming five years.

It is set to elect the Party's 17th Central Committee that will decide CPC's new leadership lineup for the coming few years, and elect a new Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

It will also approve a draft amendment to the Party constitution to embody the scientific outlook on development and other new achievements in the Party's theoretical innovation and progress in practice.

Hu promises to promote more non-Communists to leading positions

With the recent promotion of two non-Communists to cabinet ministers, Hu Jintao pledged Monday that the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) plans to add more people outside of the Party to leading government positions.

Hu said in his keynote speech to the 17th CPC National Congress that the Party will "select and recommend a greater number of outstanding non-CPC persons for leading positions."

Wan Gang and Chen Zhu, now minister of science and technology and minister of health, have been the first non-Communist cabinet appointments since the late 1970s when China launched its economic reform and opening up.

Wan Gang, a member of the China Zhi Gong (Public Interest) Party, replaced 65-year-old Xu Guanhua as Minister of Science and Technology in April 2007.

A former automobile engineer at the Audi Corporation in Germany, Wan, born in August 1952, was president of the Shanghai-based Tongji University before his appointment.

China's top legislature approved the cabinet nomination of Chen Zhu, 54, a Paris-trained scientist with no political party affiliation, as the country's new health minister in June 2007.

Political observers have said that to appoint non-CPC member cabinet minister is an important move in implementing and improving the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC.

According to Hu, such a move is also part of the efforts to "expand the patriotic united front and unite with all forces that can be united."

"Promoting harmony in relations between political parties, between ethnic groups, between religions, between social strata, and between our compatriots at home and overseas plays an irreplaceable role in enhancing unity and pooling strengths," he said.

Acting on the principle of long-term coexistence, mutual oversight, sincere treatment of each other and the sharing of weal and woe, "we will strengthen our cooperation with the democratic parties, support them and personages without party affiliation in better performing their functions of participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs and democratic oversight," he said.

Hu Jintao calls for enhancing "soft power" of Chinese culture

While charting ambitious goals of economic and social developments for the 1.3 billion people in the next five years and by 2020, Hu Jintao also stressed the need to enhance Chinese culture as the country's "soft power" in his keynote speech to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday.

"Culture has become a more and more important source of national cohesion and creativity and a factor of growing significance in the competition in overall national strength," Hu said on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

We must "enhance culture as part of the soft power of our country to better guarantee the people's basic cultural rights and interests," he said.

Some highlights of his proposed methods in this regard include:

-- to step up the development of the press, publishing, radio, film, television, literature and art, give correct guidance to the public and foster healthy social trends;

-- to strengthen efforts to develop and manage Internet culture and foster a good cyber environment;

-- to continue to develop nonprofit cultural programs as the main approach to ensuring the basic cultural rights and interests of the people, increase spending on such programs, and build more cultural facilities in urban communities and rural areas;

-- to vigorously develop the cultural industry, launch major projects to lead the industry as a whole, speed up the development of cultural industry bases and clusters of cultural industries with regional features, nurture key enterprises and strategic investors, create a thriving cultural market and enhance the industry's international competitiveness;

-- to establish a national system of honors for outstanding cultural workers.

Hu said that Chinese culture has been an unfailing driving force for the Chinese nation to keep its unity and make progress from generation to generation.

"The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will definitely be accompanied by the thriving of Chinese culture," he said.

Hu Jintao advocates "conservation culture" for first time in keynote political document

China will promote conservation culture while moving to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, said Hu Jintao in a political report to the national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which is believed to be the first time that China calls for conservation culture in a keynote political document.

"(We will) promote a conservation culture by basically forming an energy- and resource-efficient and environment-friendly structure of industries, pattern of growth and mode of consumption," said Hu at the start of the 17th CPC National Congress, a five-yearly important political event.

"Awareness of conservation will be firmly established in the whole of society," Hu said.

Hu added that China will have a large-scale circular economy and considerably increase the proportion of renewable energy sources in total energy consumption, bring the discharge of major pollutants under effective control and notably improve ecological and environmental quality.

Hu said China's economic growth is realized at an excessively high cost of resources and the environment, before listing other difficulties and problems that hinder China's development.

"We must give prominence to building a resource-conserving, environment-friendly society in our strategy for industrialization and modernization and get every organization and family to act accordingly," Hu said.

In fact, the Chinese government has mentioned conservation culture in the mid-1990s. In 1999, Wen Jiabao, then vice premier, said "the 21st century will be a century of conservation culture."

However, many environmental protection and energy saving measures were not properly implemented due to various reasons.

A report released last month by the national environment watchdog said China's overall environmental situation is still "serious" with frequent pollution accidents affecting the quality of life for many people. Last year, 842 pollution accidents were reported, including 482 water pollution cases, 232 air pollution cases, 45 cases caused by solid waste, 10 in the ocean and six involving noise and vibration damage.

The country's discharges of sulfur dioxide in 2006 reached 25.89 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 1.5 percent, the report said.

In September last year, two chemical plants in central China's Hunan Province illegally discharged a highly toxic arsenic compound into a tributary of China's second largest freshwater lake Dongting, leading to the suspension of water supplies to at least 80,000 local residents for a week.

A severe algae outbreak in Taihu, the third largest freshwater lake of the country, at the end of May this year triggered a scare after the sudden outbreak of the stenchy algae cut tap water supply to more than one million residents in Wuxi, a city in eastern Jiangsu Province.

Hu's remarks aroused instant attention of delegates to the CPC congress and observers of China.

Pan Yue, vice director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and a delegate to the Party congress, said he noticed that Hu has ranked the promotion of conservation culture as one of "the new and higher requirements" in building a moderately prosperous society, and that every organization and family shall be involved in the drive.

"It fully reflects the importance of conservation culture to the Chinese nation," the senior environmental official said.

Wang Zhigang, a delegate to the CPC congress, said: "I think the conservation culture is part of the concept of harmonious society. The development of society must be based on conservation culture."

European countries are more and more aware of the role of China in addressing environmental issues. Pollution and climate change are global issues that cannot be solved without China, said Federico Rampini, chief correspondent of the Beijing office of the Italian newspaper The Republic.

"It is a very good development that the environmental topic is included in the report. It shows the Chinese Communist Party has put environmental issues to a very important position on its agenda," said Rampini who has worked in China for four years.

Lars Moerking, a reporter of German newspaper Our Time, said: "I am quite interested in the environmental topic that mentioned in the political report."

Han Qingxiang, professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said the concept of conservation culture is an introspection of environmental deterioration in the relation between human and nature, and it advocates a harmonious relationship between human and the nature by forming a resource-efficient, environment-friendly and sustainable structure of industries.

Han said that material and spiritual civilizations are the basis and precondition of conservation culture and in turn conservation culture will help enhance material and spiritual civilizations.

Nowadays local governments and enterprises who used to seek economic returns only and take a blind eye to environmental conservation and energy saving are often widely criticized, while those with good conservation efforts such as the government of south China's Guangdong Province are applauded.

Guangdong began in late 1990s to accelerate industrial restructuring and put energy-efficient services and new and high-tech sectors high on its development agenda.

In the first half of 2006, the national per-unit energy consumption went up 0.8 percent on average, but the indicator in Guangdong, a province known for the manufacturing industry, went down 2.5 percent. In the entire year of 2006, the province's per-unit energy consumption decreased 2.93 percent in comparison with that in 2005.

Hu Jintao vows to expand people's democracy


Hu Jintao on Monday pledged to expand the people's democracy and ensure that they are masters of the country.

"People's democracy is the lifeblood of socialism," Hu said in his report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

Saying that the essence and core of socialist democracy -- a goal that the Party has been consistently pursuing -- are that the people are masters of the country, Hu proposed that both urban and rural areas gradually adopt the same ratio of deputies to the represented population in the election of deputies to the people's congresses.

To ensure scientific and democratic decision-making, Hu called for improving the information and intellectual support for it, increasing its transparency and expanding public participation in it. In principle, public hearings must be held for the formulation of laws, regulations and policies that bear closely on the interests of the public.

Hu pointed out that the most effective and extensive way for the people to be masters of the country is that they directly exercise democratic rights in accordance with the law to manage public affairs and public service programs at the primary level, practice self-management, self-service, self-education and self-oversight, and exercise democratic oversight over cadres. Such practices must be emphasized and promoted as the groundwork for developing socialist democracy.

He called on Party organizations at all levels and all Party members to act under the Constitution and laws on their own initiative and take the lead in upholding the authority of the Constitution and laws.

Hu also promised to accelerate the separation of the functions of the government from those of enterprises, state assets management authorities, public institutions and market-based intermediaries, standardize administrative practices, strengthen administrative law-enforcement agencies, reduce the number of matters requiring administrative examination and approval and standardize such procedures, and reduce government intervention in microeconomic operations.

He urged improving the mechanism of restraint and supervision, stressing that "power must be exercised in the sunshine to ensure that it is exercised correctly". He said organic laws and rules of procedure should be improved to ensure that state organs exercise their powers and perform their functions within their statutory jurisdiction and in accordance with legal procedures.

As an important part of China's overall reform, political restructuring must be constantly deepened along with economic and social development to adapt to the growing enthusiasm of the people for participation in political affairs, Hu emphasized.

"Democracy will keep developing along with the progress of socialism," said Hu, expressing the belief that in the historical course of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, Chinese Communists and the Chinese people will surely advance socialist democracy. 
 
 

Innovation tops Hu Jintao's economic agenda


Hu Jintao underscored the task of enhancing China's capacity of independent innovation and making it an innovative country in a political report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Monday morning.

"This (innovation) is the core of our national development strategy and a crucial link in enhancing the overall national strength," said Hu while delivering the report on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

Hu pledged to increase spending on independent innovation and make breakthroughs in key technologies vital to economic and social development, saying China will speed up forming a national innovation system and support basic research, research in frontier technology and technological research for public welfare.

He said the country will step up efforts to establish a market-oriented system for technological innovation, in which enterprises play the leading role, and encourage formation of internationally competitive conglomerates.

China will "support domestic enterprises in carrying out international operations of R&D, production and marketing, and accelerate the growth of Chinese multinational corporations and Chinese brand names in the world market," he said.

Hu also vowed to deepen reform of the system for managing science and technology, implement the strategy for intellectual property rights, and make the best use of international resources of science and technology.

Other major measures listed by Hu to achieve economic development include accelerating transformation of the mode of economic development and upgrading of the industrial structure, balancing urban and rural development and pushing forward the building of a new socialist countryside, improving energy, resources, ecological and environmental conservation and enhance China's capacity for sustainable development.

Hu stressed that China will uphold and improve the basic economic system in which public ownership is dominant and different economic sectors develop side by side, unwaveringly consolidate and develop the public sector of the economy, unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector, ensure equal protection of property rights, and create a new situation in which all economic sectors compete on an equal footing and reinforce each other.

China "will deepen the reform of monopoly industries by introducing competition, and strengthen government regulation and public oversight of them," and accelerate the formation of a modern market system that is unified and open and that allows orderly competition, develop markets for factors of production, improve the pricing mechanism for factors of production and resources to reflect changes in market supply and demand, resource scarcities and environmental costs, according to Hu.

Hu also set forth the tasks of promoting balanced development among regions and improving the pattern of land development, deepening fiscal, taxation and financial restructuring and improving macroeconomic regulation, and expanding opening up in scope and depth.
 


Hu Jintao proposes Scientific Outlook on Development for tackling China's immediate woes, challenges

The latest theoretical development by the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been raised by the Central leadership in view of China's present preliminary stage of socialism to cope with many immediate challenges and woes for sustainable progress.

Hu Jintao, on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee, expounded on Monday on the political concept, which was put forward in 2003, in the political report to the 17th CPC National Congress that opened Monday morning.

"In light of the basic reality that China is in the primary stage of socialism, the Scientific Outlook on Development has been formulated to meet new requirements of development by analyzing China's own practice and drawing on the experience of other countries in development," Hu told more than 2,000 delegates at the live telecast meeting.

Some of the major features of the preliminary stage include:

-- The economic strength has increased markedly, but the overall productivity remains low, the capacity for independent innovation is weak, and the long-standing structural problems and the extensive mode of growth are yet to be fundamentally addressed.

-- The socialist market economy is basically in place, but there remain structural and institutional obstacles slowing down development, and further reform in difficult areas is confronted with deep-seated problems.

-- A relatively comfortable standard of living has been achieved for the people as a whole, but the trend of a growing gap in income distribution has not been thoroughly reversed, there are still a considerable number of impoverished and low-income people in both urban and rural areas, and it has become more difficult to accommodate the interests of all sides.

-- Efforts to balance development have yielded remarkable results, but the foundation of agriculture remains weak, the rural areas still lag behind in development, and the country faces an arduous task to narrow the urban-rural and interregional gaps in development and promote balanced economic and social development.

-- Socialist democracy has continued to develop and we have made steady progress in implementing the rule of law as a fundamental principle, but efforts to improve democracy and the legal system fall somewhat short of the need to expand people's democracy and promote economic and social development, and political restructuring has to be deepened.

-- Socialist culture is thriving as never before, but the people have growing cultural needs and have become more independent, selective, changeable and diverse in thinking, setting higher requirements for the development of an advanced socialist culture.

-- The society has become evidently more dynamic, but profound changes have taken place in the structure of society, in the way society is organized and in the pattern of social interests, and many new issues have emerged in social development and management.

-- China is opening wider to the outside world, but international competition is becoming increasingly acute, pressure in the form of the economic and scientific dominance of developed countries will continue for a long time to come, both predictable and unpredictable risks are increasing, and the need to balance domestic development and opening to the outside world is greater than ever.

All the above-mentioned features boil down to the fact that "the reality that China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come has not changed," he said.

"Stressing recognition of the basic reality is not meant to belittle ourselves, wallow in backwardness, or encourage unrealistic pursuit of quick results," Hu said. "Rather, such recognition will serve as the basis of our endeavor to advance reform and plan for development."

The cure for such challenges and woes lies in the Scientific Outlook on Development, which Hu said it "takes development as its essence, putting people first as its core, comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development as its basic requirement, and overall consideration as its fundamental approach."

Hu said to thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development "we must work energetically to build a harmonious socialist society," which features democracy and the rule of law, equity and justice, honesty and fraternity, vigor and vitality, stability and order, and harmony between man and nature."

"We will spare no effort to solve the most specific problems of the utmost and immediate concern to the people and strive to create a situation in which all people do their best, find their proper places in society and live together in harmony, so as to provide a favorable social environment for development," Hu said.

Hu sets goal of quadrupling per capita GDP under environment, resource restrictions

China's per capita GDP is expected to be quadrupled by the year 2020 as against 2000, Hu Jintao said in his report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday.

But the rapid growth will be under the condition of reduced consumption of resources and greater efforts in environment protection, Hu said on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

"We will quadruple the per capita GDP of the year 2000 by 2020 through optimizing the economic structure and improving economic returns while reducing consumption of resources and protecting the environment," he said.

This goal is much higher than the target set by the CPC five years ago at the 16th National Congress which was to quadruple the GDP value, without the mention of per capita, by 2020, observers noted.

Five years ago, the 16th CPC National Congress outlined the task to quadruple GDP of the year 2000 by 2020 through optimizing economic structure and improving efficiency.

China's GDP has kept growing at a speed of over 10 percent for four consecutive years and topped 20 trillion yuan (2.7 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2006.

But the fast economic growth has been realized "at an excessively high cost of resources and the environment," Hu acknowledged.

The per capita GDP stood at 2,042 U.S. dollars in 2006, up 339 U.S. dollars, or nearly 20 percent, over that of the previous year, according to He Chuanqi, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The new goal is one of the major tasks Hu outlined in his report to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, which was put forward at the last CPC National Congress.

In addition to promoting balanced development to ensure sound and rapid economic growth, the new requirements for building a moderately prosperous society also include expanding socialist democracy and safeguarding the people's rights and interests as well as social equity and justice, enhancing the cultural and ethical quality of the whole nation, and promoting a conservation culture by basically forming an energy- and resource-efficient and environment-friendly structure of industries, pattern of growth and mode of consumption.

Concerning the requirement of improving the people's well-being, Hu said a basic system of social security will cover both urban and rural residents so that everyone is assured of basic living standards. A reasonable pattern of income distribution will be basically in place, with middle-income people making up the majority and absolute poverty basically eliminated. Everyone will have access to basic medical and health services.

Hu forecast the prospects by the year 2020 that China will have basically accomplished industrialization, with its overall national strength significantly increased and its domestic market ranking as one of the largest in the world.

It will also be a country where people are better off and enjoy markedly improved quality of life and a good environment. The people will have more extensive democratic rights, show higher ethical standards and look forward to greater cultural achievements.

By the time, China will have better institutions in all areas and Chinese society will have greater vitality coupled with stability and unity. The country will be still more open and friendly to the outside world and make greater contributions to human civilization.

In the following five years, which is "a crucial period" for attaining the goal, Hu called upon the Party to work hard to lay a more solid foundation in building a moderately prosperous society of a higher level in all respects to the benefit of over one billion people.

Hu: Scientific Outlook on Development part of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics

Hu Jintao said in his keynote report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday that the Scientific Outlook on Development initiated by the 16th CPC Central Committee in 2003 is part of the theories of Socialism with Chinese characteristics that stands along with Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents.

"Theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics constitute a system of scientific theories including Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important thought of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development and other major strategic thoughts," Hu said.

This system represents the Party's adherence to and development of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought and embodies the wisdom and hard work of several generations of Chinese Communists leading the people in carrying out tireless explorations and practices, Hu said.

"It is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to Chinese conditions, the Party's invaluable political and intellectual asset, and the common ideological foundation for the concerted endeavor of the people of all ethnic groups. It is an open system that keeps developing," Hu said.

He noted that practices since the publication of the Communist Manifesto nearly 160 years ago have proved that only when Marxism is integrated with the conditions of a specific country, advances in step with the times and is tied to the destiny of the people can it demonstrate its strong vitality, creativity and appeal. In contemporary China, to stay true to Marxism means to adhere to the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents have been put in the Party charter in previous CPC national congresses and enshrined in the country's Constitution thereafter.

Hu highlights efforts by predecessors, vowing to carry on reform, opening up

Hu Jintao on Monday underlined endeavors by the past three generations of central collective leadership in founding and prospering the New China, and vowed to carry on the great cause of reform and opening up in building of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Historic changes have taken place in the visages of the Chinese people, socialist China and the Communist Party of China (CPC) since 1978, when the Party ushered in the new historical period of reform and opening up, Hu said in his report to the 17th CPC National Congress on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

He stressed that the course of reform and opening up, which is about to mark the 30th anniversary next year, was conducted on a foundation laid by the Party's first generation of central collective leadership with Mao Zedong at its core.

The Party's second generation of central collective leadership headed by Deng Xiaoping initiated the great course, which was carried on, developed and successfully carried into the 21st century by the Party's third generation of central collective leadership with Jiang Zemin at the core, Hu said.

Since the 16th Party congress five years ago, the reform and opening up have been carried forward in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, following the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the thought of Three Represents, he said.

Reform and opening up constitute the most salient feature of the new period, which witnessed rapid development, according to Hu.

"China's economy, once on the verge of collapse, now ranks as the fourth largest in the world, and its import and export volume becomes the third biggest. The Chinese people, once inadequately fed and clad, are leading a fairly comfortable life on the whole," Hu said.

"The impoverished population in rural areas has dropped from more than 250 million to just over 20 million," he added.

Hu said keeping up with the times is the most prominent hallmark in the new period, when the Party has been adapting Marxism to Chinese conditions while enriching its own basic theory.

Reform and opening up "accord with the aspirations of the Party membership and the people and keep up with the trend of the times. The orientation and path of reform and opening up are entirely correct," Hu said.

Hu called on the whole Party to continue to emancipate the mind, seek truth from facts, keep up with the times, make bold changes and innovations, stay away from rigidity or stagnation, fear no risks, never be confused by any interference, in the course of reform and opening up.

 

Hu: China experiences "extraordinary" 5 years of achievements, difficulties

China has experienced an extraordinary period over the past five years, when the Party guided the people to overcome hardships and attained achievements, Hu Jintao said in his report to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday morning.

"The five years since the 16th Congress was an extraordinary period," Hu said on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

Hu reviewed that the economic strength increased substantially, major breakthroughs were made in reform and opening up, people's living standards improved significantly, fresh progress was registered in improving democracy and the legal system, a new situation was created in cultural development, and social development proceeded in an all-round way.

During the past five years, historic achievements were made in the development of national defense and the armed forces, work related to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs was intensified, major progress was made in all-directional diplomacy, and the new undertaking to build the Party achieved solid progress, Hu said.

Hu delivers report to CPC national congress

Hu Jintao called on the 73 million members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people on Monday to hold high the "great banner of socialism with Chinese Characteristics" in their strive for building "a moderately prosperous society in all aspects."

Hu made the call in a keynote speech at the 17th CPC National Congress Monday on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee.

The theme of the congress is "to hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, continue to emancipate the mind, persist in reform and opening up, pursue development in a scientific way, promote social harmony, and strive for new victories in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects," Hu said.
 
 
 
 
 
Source: Xinhua 
 


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