Li Keqiang outlines top tasks of China's new cabinet

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Maintaining economic growth, improving people's livelihood and safeguarding social justice are the three top tasks of the newly-installed government, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at his first press conference Sunday since assuming the premiership. [More about the press conference]

"In a country so vast as China, we have a lot of tasks to fulfill. For the most important one, I think it is to facilitate the continuous growth of the economy," Li said.

It is expected that China will face a complex economic environment, he said, noting that the government must prevent adversities and handle changes in a calm fashion, facilitate economic growth, curb inflation and prevent latent risks from triggering major fluctuations of the economy.

To reach the goals of doubling the 2010 per capita GDP and personal income by 2020, China must register an annual average economic growth of 7.5 percent over the next few years, he said.

"This is not easy, but we have a lot of favorable conditions and enormous domestic demand. The key is to facilitate economic restructuring and foster new growth engines by integrating the dividends of reform with the domestic demand potential and innovation vitality," Li said.

Only in this way, can China upgrade its economy to improved quality and efficiency, more jobs and income, better environment, and efficient use of energy and resources, said the premier.

The second task facing the Chinese government, Li said, is to continuously improve people's livelihood by raising the income of urban and rural residents, in particular that of the poverty-stricken people, and expand the size of the middle-income class.

Li emphasized the significance to weave a solid social security net to safeguard the basic welfare for all the Chinese in the aspects of compulsory eduction, medical care, social insurance and housing. A subsistence system and medical aids must be in place for the poor to fall back on when in difficulty.

"If those people fall into plight, the moral and psychological basic line of the society will be at stake. The government shall make the utmost efforts to mobilize all possible resources to safeguard the subsistence and dignity of the needy," he said.

Calling social fairness "a source of creativity" and "a yardstick" to measure public satisfaction with the government, Li said it is a liability that the government shall safeguard.

Li said his government would strive to ensure all Chinese enjoy equal opportunities and receive due rewards for their hard work, whatever social or family backgrounds they have.

"All wealth creators, either state-owned or private, should be duly rewarded for having honestly competed on a level ground," he said.

To fulfill these tasks, Li said China must build an innovative, clean government and government following the rule of law.

"By building an innovative government, we must rely on reforms and opening-up to release economic and social vitality. By building a clean government, we will elevate our credibility, governance and efficiency," Li said.

The premier who has a law degree stressed that building a government on the rule of law is fundamental.

"The law has a sacred place in our society. No matter who he is and what he does, the boundaries of the law shall not be breached. We must stick to the principle of rule of law to build a modern economy, a modern society and a modern government," he said.

Li's debut press conference came after China completed its state leadership transition for another five years at the annual legislative session which closed on Sunday.


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