With sharp recessions on the way, the world is looking to China for some confidence. But the Chinese economy has its own woes-its drastic decline in exports and a looming economic imbalance have yet to be redressed. After reporting a sharp slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2008, the country's next step on the path to recovery is coming into focus. Premier Wen Jiabao's government work report outlined a national campaign to turn around the slowing economy.
Deputies to the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) and members of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) provided suggestions and comments about the economy.
Here are some selected summaries of their opinions.
Confident About Overcoming The Crisis
Yuan Chunqing, deputy to the 11th NPC and Governor of Shaanxi Province
The government work report of the State Council proposes dealing with the global financial crisis in an active and sound way. With the theme of sustaining economic growth, the report lays out a series of plans to stimulate economic growth.
Shaanxi has set its goal for economic growth at 13 percent in 2009. We have the foundation and conditions to realize such a goal. In the past five years, the economy in our province grew at an average annual rate of 12 percent. Last year, the economic growth in Shaanxi grew 15.6 percent, ranking fourth in the country. This has allowed us to accumulate strong power for continuously fast development in future years. Most of Shaanxi's leading industries are developed based on local resources. Because there are many large companies and large groups, they are more capable of fending off risks. As the state expands its input in infrastructure construction and public services, Shaanxi has wide space and potential for further development.
This year we will make efforts mainly in the following areas. In terms of investment, we will start a new round of major project construction, and fixed-asset investment may reach 630 billion yuan ($92.11 billion), up more than 30 percent.
Industry will be the key sector to sustain economic growth. The chemical industry is the major force to drive the development of the energy and chemical industries, and a number of major resource exploitation and deep processing projects will be constructed. Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Co. Ltd. will play a leading role in China's large aircraft manufacturing and the development of feeder liners, and will drive the development of other related industries. The development of emerging hi-tech industries such as photovoltaic and semiconductor illumination will be stressed, and efforts in innovation will be strengthened.
The level and scale of inviting foreign investment will be improved.
Investment in projects related to people's livelihoods will be expanded to 40 billion yuan ($5.85 billion), an increase of 21 percent over the previous year, and will drive up economic growth while enhancing the level of public services.
DETAILED DISCUSSION: The 11th NPC deputies from Tianjin Municipality hold a group meeting to discuss the government work report (WEI YAO)
We will set up 100 county-level industrial parks, accelerate the industrialization process in counties, support the development of 50 key townships in south and north Shaanxi, and accelerate urbanization in rural areas.
Central and Western Regions
Li Youzhi, deputy to the 11th NPC and Director of the Department of Finance of Hunan Province
Central and western regions are still underdeveloped. The process of industrialization and urbanization is backward, and the proportion of secondary and tertiary industries is low. Hence these regions are less affected by the global financial crisis than the eastern region. Moreover, with vast area and large population, the central and western regions have huge potential to expand domestic demand.
The Central Government should pursue a policy favoring the central and western regions in designing systems, arranging major projects, making policy and allocating funds. For people living in central and western regions, the most urgent demand is to improve education and health care security to stimulate their consumption.
Spending Money on People
Tian Xirong, deputy to the 11th NPC and Secretary of the Shuozhou Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, Shanxi Province
The government should be generous in spending money on people, because it can obtain the maximum benefit, directly enhance economic expectations, improve social confidence and increase tangible consumption. The government should concentrate on its budgetary input in housing construction, compulsory education, ecological environment and farmers' consumption.