Corruption, livelihoods top concerns at sessions

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The fight against corruption and the improvement of people's livelihoods are the most pressing issues for the upcoming annual sessions of the top legislature and political advisory body, according to an online survey conducted by China Daily.

Some 57.27 percent of the respondents said the anti-corruption push is the most urgent topic to be discussed during the two sessions. The survey was posted on the China Daily website in late January. Some 21.83 percent of respondents were from other countries.

Soaring real estate prices (55.57 percent), the widening gap between the rich and the poor (54.18 percent), better medical insurance and fair education (43.96 percent) are the other top four concerns for the respondents.

In a similar survey by Xinhua News Agency, the top three issues of most concern are income disparities, housing and the anti-corruption bid.

"Without a fair income distribution system, China cannot achieve a harmonious society," a netizen named "xzwp" said.

"Corruption is most severe among county-level officials. And the anti-corruption fight should be carried out beginning with grassroots departments," said a netizen named "literacy".

On Monday, a dozen metropolitan newspapers published a common editorial calling for the quick reform of household registration.

Last Saturday, Premier Wen Jiabao had his second annual online chat with the public, in which he answered more than 20 questions, most of them related to domestic affairs.

He pledged to tame the "wild-horse" housing market and to keep prices at a reasonable level by increasing the supply of housing and by implementing land, finance and tax policies to enable more people to buy their own homes during his term as premier. He also vowed to improve the country's medical insurance system as part of China's ongoing medical reform.

Wen further stressed the importance of the fair distribution of social wealth and called for an increase in people's incomes in relation to the national income, as well as the use of fiscal and tax instruments to help disadvantaged groups.

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