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China enters critical stage of reform, development
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To ease the impact of economic growth on environment, China aims to cut energy consumption used to generate per unit of GDP by20 percent and major pollutants emissions by 10 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Premier Wen Jiabao has said the country will continue its drive to close down backward production facilities in the electricity, steel, cement, coal and papermaking industries, and develop advanced production facilities in these industries.

Yet some NPC deputies say China need also to take into consideration the regional differences, promote coordinated development of different regions and encourage financial institutions to extend more loans to the underdeveloped regions.

"While the developed eastern region is already at an advanced stage of industrial development and needs to cut emissions, most central and western regions are still at a preliminary stage of industrialization," said Wu Changyuan, a deputy from the southernmost island province of Hainan. "It's not possible to cure different symptoms with the same therapy."

These call for all-round reforms in the political, social and cultural sectors in the coming five years, said Chi Fulin, executive president of the China Institute for Reform and Development.

The government reshuffle plan, adopted by the NPC session on Saturday, has apparently put the government on the frontline of China's political reforms.

Observers say the government reform, the sixth in 30 years, will be an important exploration in restricting power and supervising the exercise of power by different government departments. "It's crucial for China's overall development in the coming five years," said Gong Ke, NPC deputy and president of Tianjin University.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2008)


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