Economy Focus of CPPCC Session

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's most important adviser to the development of economic and social policy, will convene today for its annual meeting.

"In formulating the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05), the drafting committee has often consulted the opinions of the CPPCC members," Qi Huaiyuan, spokesman of the Fourth Session of the Ninth CPPCC National Committee, said at a press briefing yesterday.

After studying and discussing the draft 10th Five-Year Plan, CPPCC members have submitted 136 proposals, 58 of which have been adopted by the drafting committee, he said.

The annual session of the CPPCC National Committee is due to open this afternoon and will conclude on March 12. So far, more than 1,400 CPPCC members from 34 regions have registered to attend the meeting. Members will be divided into 48 groups for panel discussions once the session has started.

According to Qi, CPPCC members are currently focusing primarily on economic issues.

Up to February 28, the CPPCC National Committee had received 127 proposals for this session, 60 of which concern China's economic development, accounting for 47.2 per cent of the total.

"Development of central and western China, rural work and agriculture, supervision of the financial order, and growth of the non-State economy and the high-tech industry are among the topics of greatest concern to the CPPCC," Qi explained.

Another topic that will capture special attention from members at this year's meeting is a proposal for diverting water from the Yangtze River Valley in southern China to solve water shortage problems in the North.

"CPPCC experts have been studying the issue since last October. After on-the-spot investigations, they formulated and submitted a report on the project," Qi said.

Commenting on the CPPCC's work in the previous year, Qi said the National Committee organized 14 inspection teams to conduct investigations into problems and issues around the country. After touring dozens of provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, they produced reports on some of the more pressing and sensitive aspects of China's economic and social development.

When asked about the Taiwan question, Qi said it was the CPPCC's position that the Taiwan authorities should be responsible for the current cross-Straits situation. "We have made consistent efforts to achieve peaceful reunification in the past year."

Taiwan authorities have yet to accept the one-China principle and Taiwan's refusal to do so is the root of the tension across the Straits, he said.

Qi said last year's election of the latest Taiwan leader cannot change the fact that the island is an inseparable part of China and that most of the Taiwanese people are opposed to attempts to split the motherland.

As for the Falun Gong cult, Qi reaffirmed the CPPCC's stance against the cult, which it considers to be anti-human, anti-science and anti-society.

The CPPCC firmly supports the decision of the National People's Congress to eradicate the cult, he said.

(China Daily 03/03/2001)