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Vice premier underscores economic reform, livelihood improvement
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Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has said that China will continue improving macroeconomic control, stick to the opening-up policy and step up efforts to improve people's livelihood.

Li made the remarks during his three-day visit to the central Hubei Province from Sunday to Tuesday, where he met with local farmers and urban dwellers.

He said the country's economic reform had entered a critical period. There were emerging problems both at home and abroad, leading to increasing uncertainties in the economic development.

The country, however, had plenty of grain in reserve and was capable of meeting domestic demand and keeping prices stable.

Li urged local governments to further promote their industrial upgrading and encourage technological innovation, saying more efforts should be made to accelerate the development of the service sector with a view to expanding domestic consumption.

He said governments should start with the reforms of medicare, the housing market and the environmental protection mechanism to raise people's living standard.

After being briefed on the development of local grass root medical services, Li said the government should continue improving the cooperation between large hospitals in cities and grass root clinics.

(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2008)

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