China will work harder to attract foreign talents, a move that is vital to its opening-up wider to the outside and international exchanges and cooperation, Premier Zhu Rongji said Monday.
Zhu made the remarks while meeting elderly foreign experts and their families in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to convey Chinese Lunar New Year greetings.
The premier also thanked all the foreign friends in China, old and new, who have cared about, supported and taken part in China's modernization drive and worked to expand the mutually beneficial Sino-foreign cooperation.
He spoke highly of foreign experts' contributions to the economic development in China, noting "We'll always bear in mind what they have done."
Briefing the experts on China's economic situation over the past year, Zhu said that the national economy has been moving in a good direction with the improvement of industrial efficiency and remarkable increase in revenue.
Apart from the achievements, he said, China's economic restructuring has been going ahead, various reforms have deepened and the educational and cultural sectors improved, with the country opening wider to the outside world.
The coming five years will be an important period for China to restructure its economy strategically, develop socialist market economy and open wider to the outside, he said.
The State Council is drafting a plan for the national economic development and social progress, which is to be submitted to the National People's Congress for deliberation and approval in March, he said.
He said China's economic development should maintain a relatively higher speed on the condition that the quality and efficiency of the economy be improved.
Zhu acknowledged that the economic development and restructuring remain an arduous task. To fulfill the task, China will not only carry out reforms and make technological innovations, but also give prominence to science, technology and education.
He noted that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the training and use of talents.
The country is also creating a social environment respecting knowledge and talents, he said.
Zhu also exchanged views with the foreign experts on China's development.
Present at the occasion were Zhu's wife Lao An, Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and several other high-ranking officials.