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Chinese Public Impassioned About Premier's Speech

Chinese people were reassured Tuesday that Premier Zhu Rongji is listening to their call for raising incomes of farmers and securing basic standards of living for low-income urban families.

Zhu made key pledges on both subjects during his address in Beijing Tuesday.

"He did strike a chord with the public, especially for farmers as he spent quite a heavy chunk of the address on how to make rural people better off," said Chen Li, a college student from the Peking University.

Liang Hongbin, a railway employee working in the Shanghai Railway Station, said he was also encouraged by Zhu's vow to improve the life of needy households in urban areas, Wednesday's China Daily reported.

Liang pinches pennies every day as his family, which includes his wife and son who is in college, only has a disposable income of 1,200 yuan (US$144) a month.

Guo Feng, associate professor of Renmin University in Beijing, said what impressed him most was Zhu's renewed vow to further crack down on fake goods, fraud and shoddy drugs.

"He highlighted two issues -- scrapping the regional protection barriers and strengthening law enforcement, which have long been two of the toughest nuts to crack," Guo said.

Other residents like John Huang, partner of AllBright Law Office, had an interest in Zhu's remarks on the issue of Experts.

Huang said Zhu's talk of training skilled professionals in international finance, accounting, law, and consulting sent a signal that China is ready to meet the WTO challenge.

(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2002)

Premier Zhu Calls for More Help to People in Need
Farmers' Income Rises, But Not at Same Rate as City Dwellers
Premier Calls for Wider Opening After WTO Entry
Premier Highlights Rural Work
Premier Calls for Efforts to Increase Personal Income
Premier Zhu to Deliver Work Report Next Year
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