Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called for new engines to revitalize northeast China's old industrial base amid the "new normal" of economic development.
The region should foster clusters of emerging industries by means of innovation-driven development as well as optimization and upgrading of industrial structure, he told lawmakers from northeast China's Jilin Province in a panel discussion during the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC).
He urged deeper reform to break institutional bottleneck and release great vitality of the country's traditional manufacturing base, which has seen slow economic growth these years.
Due to the old growth model, economic growth of the northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang trailed behind the national average last year, at 5.8, 6.5 and 5.6 percent respectively, despite its leading role in China to become industrialized in the last century.
Agricultural modernization should be advanced and realized first in some regions, Xi said, emphasizing modern systems concerning industrial management, production and businesses.
He also called for concrete efforts in improving welfare of the people so that the public could feel the changes and enjoy benefits.
Xi warned against pollution of "political ecology," urging officials to stick to discipline amid efforts to promote development.
"Political ecology is like natural ecology. It is easily vulnerable to pollution in an unguarded moment," he said. "Once problems arise, great price must be paid to recover."
Premier Li Keqiang joined deputies from northeast China's Heilongjiang Province in a panel discussion at the national legislative session.
The Premier urged the province, another heavy industry hub in China, to better restructure local economy, upgrading the heavy industry and exploring emerging industries and service sectors.
Local governments should work to create an open and fair business environment through transforming government functions and easing administrative approval procedures, he said.
People's livelihood should be another priority, Li said, stressing that the province should speed up the renovation of rundown neighborhoods in old mining areas that suffered surface subsidence and work harder to provide social security to the needy people.
Top legislator Zhang Dejiang and senior party official Liu Yunshan also attended panel discussions with NPC deputies.
During the discussion with deputies from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, Zhang urged deputies to be confident of the system of people's congresses.
The NPC will play a better role in lawmaking and work to ensure that China's reform is carried out in line with the law, he said.
He also urged NPC deputies to exercise their duty of supervising the government and judicial departments.
Joining deputies from central China's Hunan Province, Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, stressed a healthy political environment within the CPC.
The CPC will strictly implement political disciplines and protocols, curb nepotism and punish laziness, he said, adding that senior officials must be pressed to be responsible for and active in promoting development.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2015)