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UPDATED: December 15, 2008
Chinese President Calls for Maintaining Stable Economic Growth
Hu paid a visit to Liaoning after the annual Central Economic Work Conference

Chinese President Hu Jintao called for maintaining a stable and healthy economic growth amid the challenges in industrial restructuring, export, employment and people's lives during his visit to northeast Liaoning Province from Friday to Sunday.

Hu paid a visit to Liaoning, a center of heavy industries, after the annual Central Economic Work Conference, setting the tone for next year's economic development, closed on Wednesday.

"Our top economic target next year is to maintain a stable and healthy growth," he said at a meeting with the provincial officials. "We should be clear about the serious challenges and difficulties from home and abroad but also realize the great opportunities and favorable conditions in it."

He listed several works the country would do, such as to seriously implement macroeconomic policy, to boost economic restructuring, to greatly enhance capacities for independent innovations, to control pollution and protect the environment and to deepen the reform and opening-up.

Hu also stressed that to maintain social stability was very important when the economic development faced some problems.

During his visit here, the president paid visits to three large state-owned enterprises.

At a new assembly line of Angang Steel Co. Ltd., the first steel producer founded by the People's Republic of China, Hu inquired about its business perspective.

"As a leading company in our steel industry, we hope you to take the advantage of your technology and scale to contribute to the country's economic growth," he said.

Hu expected these state-owned enterprises to focus more on research and development so that they could develop more core technologies, maintain a technical advantage and catch up with the world leading level.

Export-oriented enterprises were widely affected by the global financial crisis.

The president was concerned about their conditions and visited two companies during his stay here.

Visiting a joint venture clothing manufacturer in Yingkou city of Liaoning, he learned that the number of overseas orders it received for next year dropped month after month.

"I hope you to be more confident in face of difficulties," he said. "While maintaining the traditional markets (Europe and U.S.A.), you may try to explore new markets."

At Shenyang Yuanda Aluminium Industry Engineering Co. Ltd, Hu was glad to learn that the company's revenue reported a year-on-year rise of 72 percent in the first ten months this year and the value of overseas orders increased by 1.5 times.

"This was very rare and commendable in a shrinking international market," he said. "I hope you to continue the strategy to win clients through quality products."

Hu inspected an metal research institute and a high-tech company during his visit, to show the importance the central government paid to enhancing the capacities for independent innovations.

The Institute of Metal Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences had an outstanding lab on titanium alloy research and SIASUN Robot & Automation Co. Ltd. was a national research center on Robotics, as well as a base for its industrialization.

The president also expressed great concerns about common people's lives under a condition of economic slowdown.

"Next year's employment market will be very serious, affected by the international financial crisis," Hu said upon visiting an employment service organization.

The country would adopt a "even more active" policy to increase employment, he said, adding that all staff in employment service should work harder.

In a renewed residence community, Hu dropped in the apartment of a retired worker Wan Fu.

In the past three years, 52 new apartment buildings have replaced small and shabby cabins in this community, home to 2,200 families including Wan's.

Wan used to live in a 40-square-meter cabin with seven family members but now in a 54-square-meter new apartment only with his wife. Both his sons have new apartments as well.

"The apartment is comfortable, warm and convenient," he told the president. "To buy this apartment, we did not have to borrow any money, but just with our savings."

"The harder the economic situation is, the more attention we should pay to people's lives. The central government has decided to invest more in public service," Hu said.

He promised that more people like Wan would move into new homes and retired workers would have higher pension.

(Xinhua News Agency December 15, 2008)

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