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Agriculture, Fixed Asset Investment Topping Focus
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Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday the government will focus mainly on farming, fixed asset investment scale as well as bird flu in the first quarter to ensure a good start for 2006.


Wen outlined the government's major tasks in the first quarter at a plenary session of the State Council. He stressed that efforts should be made to deal with farming issues including organizing farmers to prepare for spring ploughing and rationally control the scale of fixed asset investment.


Other tasks include alleviating the bottleneck situation of coal, electricity, petroleum and transportation, helping disaster-hit and disadvantaged groups, ensuring payment of migrant workers' salaries and outstanding wages, and improving safety supervision over the operation of major industries, places with hidden dangers and public areas.


The government should properly handle social contradictions, implement policies related to public interests and continue to curb the spread of bird flu, said Wen.


The meeting discussed the drafts of the government work report and the 11th Five-Year Guideline for National Economy and Social Development, which will be delivered to regional governments to solicit suggestions and deliberated at this year's National People's Congress (NPC) annual session.


Wen required all sides, including non-Communist parties, industrial and commercial circles and non-Party personages, to offer their suggestions to ensure the documents exhibit the public opinion and desire.


Cherished friendship


The premier also visited former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk and his wife Norodom Monineath Sihanouk at their residence in Beijing yesterday.


Wen spoke highly of the contribution to Sino-Cambodian ties made by Sihanouk in the past five decades, saying that the former king has always committed himself to the development of Sino-Cambodian relations and has forged deep friendship with successive Chinese leaders.


"China and Cambodia are good neighbors, good friends and good partners," Wen said. "The Chinese people will never forget our old friend and we hope your majesty will continue to support Sino-Cambodian cooperation in all fields."


Sihanouk expressed his appreciation of the best wishes from Wen and the Chinese people, saying that the Cambodian government, people and himself all cherish the friendship with China.


"Cambodia appreciates China's selfless assistance and always regards China as a great friend and a friend forever," said the former king, pledging that the Cambodian royal family and government will, as always, support China's reunification.


(China Daily January 21, 2006)

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