China's economy can maintain fast growth that is above the annual average of 7 percent for the next 20 years.
Zeng Peiyan, minister of the State Development Planning Commission, made the prediction yesterday and said room existed for further economic expansion.
"It's a demanding task but we can achieve the goal if we always keep economic development as the main priority," said Zeng.
Zeng, newly elected member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, outlined priorities of the country's economic development during the coming years.
China's economy has grown by an average of 9 percent since it embarked on reform and opening up in 1978.
But Zeng said room for development still existed as China has sped up economic restructuring and tapping market potential.
The other priorities mapped out by Zeng are as follows:
Take a new path to industrialization and implement the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science, education and sustainable development.
Press ahead to optimize and upgrade the industrial structure to bring about an industrial pattern with high and new technologies as the leader, basic and manufacturing industries as the kingpin and service industries developing in all areas.
Speed up urbanization and the process of surplus rural labor moving to non-agricultural industries and to cities and towns.
Advance the development of the western region and bring about the coordinated development of regional economies.
(China Daily December 7, 2002)