China takes steps to prepare for 12th five-year plan

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Chinese state agencies have taken the first step towards ensuring that the targets of the 12th five-year national development plan, starting in 2011, are achieved by announcing measures focusing on economic restructuring and protecting people's livelihoods.

The measures were announced during the past two days, after the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded its plenary session on Monday.

At the meeting, the CPC outlined the key objectives of the 12th five-year plan, which included driving economic growth higher via domestic demand and achieving a more equal income distribution.

The plan will be drawn up by the State Council, or the Cabinet. China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, will vote on the plan at its annual plenary session early next year.

On Wednesday, the Supreme People's Court issued a notice that ordered courts nationwide to help in the drive to restructure the economy and improve economic growth by providing "effective legal guarantees and services."

It said local courts should handle cases in accordance with the law and attach importance to safeguarding the legal rights of various market entities.

The courts were also told to handle cases involving people's core interests such as employment, social insurance, housing, education and health care, in a proper and lawful manner.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has laid out an eight-point plan to sharpen China's innovative edge and improve its research and development capabilities, which are considered crucial to the success of China's plans to upgrade its economy by encouraging more high value-added industries.

Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, said in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday that the ministry would put economic restructuring on top of its agenda and work to establish modern, technologically advanced and environmentally-friendly industries which could produce high value-added goods and create a large number of jobs.

To achieve that, the ministry plans to focus on projects such as energy conservation and emission reductions, technological upgrades and innovations as well as develop emerging industries like new-materials and new-energy vehicles, he said.

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