10th Five-Year Plan Focusing on Economic Expansion

Development will be the theme of China's 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005) and the nation should take advantage of all opportunities to speed up development with economic construction as the focal point, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said.

Zhu made the remarks while making explanation on the Proposal for Formulating the 10th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 15th CPC Central Committee last week.

Zhu explained to the plenum the proposal from ten aspects:

-- Implementation of the 9th Five-Year Plan;

-- Main objectives and tasks during the 10th Five-Year Plan period;

-- Optimizing and upgrading industrial structure

-- Coordinated economic development among different regions and between urban and rural areas.

-- Developing science, technology and education and the fostering of talented professionals;

-- Deepening reform and opening wider to the outside world;

-- Raising people's living standards and improving the social security system;

-- Advancing socialist ethical and cultural progress and the construction of socialist democracy and legal system;

-- National defense building;

-- Strengthening and improving the Party's leadership.

Reviewing China's economic and social development achievements during the 9th Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000), Zhu said that with the successful implementation of the 9th Five-Year Plan, China materialized its second strategic objective in the modernization drive, greatly increasing the productive forces and having the people live a relatively comfortable life in general.

Major historical changes have also taken place in the balance of market supply and demand, in the system environment for economic development and in external economic relations.

"All those changes have laid a solid ground for implementing the 10th Five-Year Plan and for hitting the third strategic target," he said.

However, many contradictions and problems still exist in the country's social and economic life, which should not be ignored in any way, he noted.

The contradictions and problems include the irrational industrial structure, imbalanced economic development among different regions, being comparatively backward in science and technology, weak competitiveness of enterprises in general, relative shortage in some important resources, increasing employment pressure, deteriorating environment in some areas, slow income rises in parts of urban and rural residents, and the increasing gap in income distribution, he said.

The system elements that obstruct the advance of productive forces are still prominent, with a lack of sound environment in which enterprises of all kinds of ownership can compete on equal footing and seek common development.

He also pointed to the fact that there are still practices of corruption and extravagance, and the situation of public security is poor in some parts of the country.

Zhu called for enough attention to be paid to these problems and effective measures to be taken to tackle them during the 10th Five-Year Plan period.

On the main objectives and tasks during the 10th Five-Year Plan period, Zhu stressed that to sustain fast economic development, it is imperative to make strategic readjustments to the country's economic structure by focusing on improving economic efficiency.

The CPC Central Committee proposal noted that during the 10th Five-Year Plan period, development must be the theme, with economic restructuring as the masterstroke, reform, opening-up and scientific and technological progress as the driving forces, and enhanced living standards as the basic point.

Zhu said that the proposal centers on solving problems in economic and social development by putting forward suggestions on the guiding principles, major tasks and overall strategy.

On strengthening agriculture's primary position, Zhu gave special emphasis to speeding up the reform of the taxation system in rural areas, saying that township government staff must be cut and taxes and fees reduced to alleviate farmers' burdens in a substantial way.

On infrastructure construction and resource strategy, Zhu stressed the importance of handling the issue of water conservation from a strategic perspective.

He said that while many parts of the country, especially large and medium-sized cities in the north, are suffering frequent shortage in water, the practice of wasting water is running rampant everywhere. "The situation should be remedied immediately, " he said.

Zhu called for great efforts to popularize various kinds of measures to save water, and to develop water-saving agriculture, industry and services, in a bid to establish a society that is conscientious about conserving water.

Zhu disclosed that the State will soon publicize preferential policies to support the country's strategy of opening up the western region, which will include stepping up financial support and encouraging enterprises at home and abroad to invest in the region.

The advance and innovation of science and technology must be quickened, Zhu said, adding that the reform of science and technology research system should delve deeper to form a new system catering to market demand to link scientific research with economic development.

Zhu called for opening the market further and breaking the monopoly of some government departments and enterprises to establish a unified, fair and standard market system in the country.

New ways should be adopted to utilize foreign investment, including mergers, acquisition, investment funds and securities investment to utilize middle- and long-term overseas capital, Zhu said.

Efforts should be made to attract transnational companies to invest, set up R&D centers and participate in the restructuring and regrouping of State-owned enterprises in China, he said. Zhu noted that in setting up joint ventures, it is not necessary for Chinese enterprises to have a controlling share except in those vital to the national security and economy.

Zhu also urged the establishment of a fair mechanism of income distribution, encouraging profit-sharing by such elements as capital and technology and enhancing the role of taxation in regulating income levels.

To keep in line with demand of the economic reform and modernization drive, the reform of the political system will continue during the 10th Five-Year period along with enhancing democracy and construction of the legal system, Zhu said.

The decision-making process should be more scientifically designed and be democratic to ensure that the people will be able to exercise their rights in accordance with laws, he said.

The premier called for continued fight against corruption, with overall consideration of new situation in a market economy. A sound supervision and administration system must be established to curb corruption, he said.

(Xinhua 10/19/2000)

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CPC Central Committee Proposal for Formulating 10th Five-Year Plan



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