The Current Macroeconomic Situation and Tasks in Economic Work

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-12-28 09:39
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 I. The state of China’s economy at present

 This year, China’s economy has been undergoing a sound transition from policy-stimulated growth to self-propelled growth, and is continuing to develop in line with the expectations of macro-control policies. The state of the economy during the first half of the year can be summarized as follows: first, the national economy has grown steadily and at a relatively fast pace. The GDP has grown by 9.6%, the stimulating effects of the three major forms of demand on economic growth have remained within normal levels, and the role of domestic demand has increased. Retail sales of consumer goods have increased by 16.8%, investment in fixed assets has grown by 25.6%, the total volume of imports and exports has increased by 25.8%, and China’s trade surplus has decreased somewhat. Agricultural production has been favorable, with the output of summer grain reaching 126.25 million tons, representing an increase of 3.1 million tons over the year before. Second, price rises have, on the whole, been kept within controllable levels. The Chinese government has taken a series of targeted measures to control monetary supply, develop production, ensure supply, stimulate circulation, improve supervision, and secure public well-being. Sufficient market supply of important commodities such as grain, cooking oil, sugar, meat, vegetables, and petroleum products has been guaranteed to a relatively high extent, and acts in violation of price laws and regulations have been severely punished. The vast majority of provinces across the country have established mechanisms to tie social aid and welfare standards to increases in goods prices. Consumer prices grew by 5.4% in the first half of the year over the same period of last year, with the carryover effect accounting for 3.3 percentage points. Rises in industrial purchasing prices and producer prices are showing signs of stabilizing at a high level compared to the first half of the last year. Third, economic performance has improved steadily. Fiscal revenue has grown by 31.2%, exceeding the total for the same period last year by 1.35 trillion yuan. Gains in the corporate sector have increased rapidly, with large-scale industrial enterprises recording a profit increase of 28.7% compared to the first half of last year. Fourth, positive progress has been made in the restructuring of the economy. Rapid growth has been witnessed in strategic emerging industries, with the machinery and pharmaceutical industries growing at a faster rate than large-scale industry and positive trends having also been seen in the development of modern service industries such as the software, information services, and cultural and creative industries. Plans for major priority zones nationwide have been formulated and put into effect. Greater support is being given to the development of ethnic minority regions, while China’s central and western regions are accommodating the relocation of industries from eastern regions at an increased pace. Fifth, employment and incomes have grown at a relatively rapid pace, and living standards have been further improved. An additional 6.55 million people have found employment in cities and towns. By the end of June, the registered rate of unemployment in urban areas was 4.1%. The average disposable income of urban residents and the average cash income of rural residents have increased by 7.6% and 13.7% respectively. China’s social safety net has been further improved, with the government significantly increasing its investment in public welfare programs such as social security, employment, medical care, hygiene, and housing support.    

 China’s retail sale of consumer goods grew by 17% in the first three quarters of 2011 compared to the same period of the previous year. / Photo by Xinhua reporter Xiao Xiao

 Generally speaking, the state of China’s economy is favorable. The relationships between pace and quality and structure and efficiency in economic growth are becoming more rational. Economic development and social development are becoming increasingly coordinated with each other, and certain prominent conflicts in the process of development are gradually being mitigated. The pace of China’s economic growth has slowed down slightly. This slowdown, which is primarily the outcome of our macro-control policies, has taken place within rational levels and in line with our expectations. We have placed a greater emphasis on curbing the excessively rapid growth of prices, which is a major issue in the economy. At the same time, a greater emphasis has also been placed on combating the effects of various economic and non-economic factors on the operation of the economy and resolving prominent issues that pertain to the interests of the people. We have been able to find a relatively sound balance between maintaining rapid but stable economic growth, adjusting the structure of the economy, and regulating inflation expectations, which has allowed us to solidify and build on the gains that were made in response to the international financial crisis.

 At present, China’s economic development is taking place amidst extremely complex domestic and international environments, and there are a considerable number of factors which could undermine stability or create uncertainty. 

 From an international perspective, we may note that the world economy is undergoing a process of recovery, but this recovery is still fragile and unbalanced. First, the growth rates of certain economies have fallen back. The US economy grew by 0.4% and 1.3% respectively during the first two quarters of the year, representing a significant drop compared to the 3.1% growth recorded in the fourth quarter of last year. At the same time, various production and demand indexes have delivered weak performances, falling significantly short of market expectations, and the struggling recovery of the US housing market is particularly notable. The GDP of the Euro area in the first quarter of the year grew by 0.8% compared to the fourth quarter of last year and 2.5% compared to the first quarter of last year respectively. Despite this, however, levels of recovery have differed significantly within the Euro area, with economic growth slumping in certain countries due to the onset of sovereign debt crisis. Japan’s GDP witnessed a decline of 0.9% in the first quarter of this year, and declined again by 0.3% in the second quarter, meaning that Japan’s economy has recorded three consecutive quarters of negative growth. A slowdown in economic growth was also seen in certain emerging economies during the first quarter of the year. Brazil’s economy grew by 4.2% in the first quarter, representing a decrease of 5.1 percentage points over the first quarter of 2010. India’s economy grew by 7.8% in the first quarter, the lowest increase for five consecutive quarters, continuing a quarter-on-quarter decline in economic growth which began at the beginning of last year. Second, inflationary pressure in the world economy has increased. The effects of excess liquidity are becoming increasingly prominent, with the prices of bulk commodities such as oil and grain fluctuating at high levels, and most countries being faced with the threat of inflation. Inflation has become a serious problem common to emerging economies. Brazil’s consumer price index (CPI) grew by 6.9% in July, while India’s wholesale price index (WPI) grew by 9.4% in June. The danger of inflation has also increased significantly in developed countries. America’s CPI increased by 3.6% both in May and June compared to the same period of the last year, sustaining the highest rate of growth since November 2008 for two consecutive months. The rate of inflation in the Euro area in July was 2.5%, meaning that inflation has exceeded the European Central Bank’s target of 2% for eight consecutive months. Third, the rate of unemployment in developed countries remains high, a sign that there is a lack of impetus behind economic growth. Rates of unemployment in the US, the Euro area and Japan increased significantly following the outbreak of the international financial crisis, reaching highs of 10.2%, 10.1%, and 5.7% respectively. Though these levels have since declined somewhat, unemployment still remains significantly higher than the average levels prior to the crisis. Fourth, government debts are continuing to gather risks. The negative effects of the non-conventional fiscal stimulus policies adopted by many countries in response to the international financial crisis are starting to emerge, and are characterized by a shift in risks from the private sector to the public sector. The US federal deficit has exceeded 1 trillion dollars for three straight fiscal years, and may even grow to a record-breaking 1.65 trillion dollars this year, which equates to more than 10% of the country’s GDP. Certain countries in the Euro area are facing major imbalances in revenue and expenditure, which has resulted in high fiscal deficits. As the government debt to GDP ratio escalates, the shadow cast by the European debt crisis is continuing to loom. After almost four months’ observation, Standard & Poor’s recently downgraded the US long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+, spreading turmoil throughout the international financial market. Major stock indexes have been rattled, the price of crude oil and other bulk commodities has come down considerably, and the value of gold and other hedging products has soared to a record high. Owing to economic and social constraints in the US and Europe, the problems surrounding sovereign debts are unlikely to be resolved in the near future, and this situation is expected to take a significant toll on the global economic recovery.

 Domestically speaking, although there are many conditions conducive to development in China, with all sectors being highly motivated towards development, we are also facing a number of problems. In addition to the institutional and structural problems that we have faced over the long term, we are now encountering several new changes in the operation of the economy. The slowdown in economic growth coupled with the rapidly increasing price of goods has made macro-control more difficult; real estate sales have slumped, property prices remain deadlocked, and the amount of newly built housing has dropped significantly; some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling due to a number of constraints; we are facing a serious challenge to conserve energy and cut emissions, and production in certain energy-intensive industries has rebounded; the external environment is becoming less conducive to the growth of exports; and there are still problems in areas pertaining to public well-being which have evoked a strong public reaction, such as food safety. In order to bolster positive trends in economic and social development, we must keep our heads clear, be more mindful of potential dangers, fully evaluate the complexity and severity of the situation, engage in calm observation, respond in a collected manner, and be more thorough in our work.

 II. The consistency, orientation, intensity, and timing of macro-control policies      

 It is important that we accurately judge the economic situation. In response to the major problems faced in the economy, we must correctly determine the orientation, the intensity, and the timing of macro-control policies. Judging from the overall situation, the primary task of our macro-control policies will continue to be the stabilization of prices, and this focus cannot be shifted elsewhere. At the same time, as the economic situation changes, we must make our macro-control policies more targeted, more flexible, and more oriented towards the future, and thereby keep a sound balance between maintaining rapid but stable economic growth, adjusting the structure of the economy, and regulating inflation expectations. We should take steps to slow down the growth of prices in a way that will not cause fluctuations in the overall rate of economic growth.  

 During the Central Economic Work Conference held toward the end of last year we decided to implement a prudent monetary policy. More than half a year has passed since then, and in this time, China’s credit growth has returned to normal levels, signaling the effectiveness of this policy. Since the fourth quarter of last year, we have raised the deposit reserve ratio on a total of 9 occasions, with the combined increase standing at 4.5 percentage points. We have also increased benchmark lending and deposit rates 5 times, with the total increase being 1.25 percentage points. According to data from the end of July, the broad money supply (M2) has increased by 14.7 percent over the previous year, which is within the target range of 16%. In regard to monetary policy, it is important that we maintain a solid grasp of three aspects. First, we must continue to implement a prudent monetary policy. Although the rate of increase in the supply of money and credit has come down somewhat over the previous months, it still remains high in contrast to levels of growth recorded in normal years. According to data from the end of July, the balance of RMB loans has increased by 16.6 percent compared to last year. Considering the high base figures and the high monetary stock over the past two years, this represents a large increase in real terms. We need to maintain the rational increase of financing from all sources, place an emphasis on optimizing the credit structure, improve the standard of financial services, and do more to support economic restructuring and, in particular, the development of agriculture and small-sized enterprises through the provision of credit. Second, we must be fully aware of the delay effect and cumulative effect of monetary policy and take a more forward-looking policy approach. We are faced with extremely complex economic situations both domestically and internationally at present. Enterprises are set to find themselves under constantly increasing pressure owing to the delay effect of macroeconomic policies combined with other factors such as rising raw material prices, increasing labor costs, power supply shortages, climbing interest rates, and rising exchange rates. In addition to being aware of the state of the economy at present, it is also important that we accurately predict the trends of economic development in the future. We should make our policies more oriented to the future so as to prevent the delay effect of monetary policy from colliding with a range of other factors, which could exert an overly large influence on the real economy in the future. Third, we should rationally employ a range of policy tools to make our policies more targeted. It is important that we balance out a range of policy tools and put together a rational portfolio of policies so as to enhance supervision of off-balance sheet business in banks, prevent the build-up of risks, and maintain the stability of the financial sector. At the same time, we should proceed with financial reforms, such as making interest rates subject to market forces and changing the RMB exchange rate regime, effectively administer and employ foreign exchange reserves, gradually reduce the growth rate of foreign exchange reserves, and enhance our monitoring and control of capital flows between territories so as to prevent large amounts of hot money from entering China. In addition, we must correctly address the relationship between the rate of capital adequacy in banking, the prevention of risks in the banking sector, and the stability of the capital market so as to rationally guide market expectations, stabilize market confidence, and promote the sound development of the capital market. 

 We should continue to implement a positive fiscal policy, step up efforts to increase revenue and cut spending, and optimize our spending structure. Recently, there has been a great deal of concern over local government debts in China. Objectively speaking, this is an old problem and an old phenomenon. Local government debts first emerged in 1979, and had become commonplace in all of China’s provincial governments and the vast majority of municipal and county governments by the year 1996. In accordance with arrangements made by the State Council, the National Audit Office conducted a general audit of local government debts in China from March to May. The findings of the audit have since been reported to the National People’s Congress and made public. By the end of 2010, the balance of local government debts totaled at 10.72 trillion yuan, of which 5.48 trillion yuan or 51.15% of the total was borrowed in or prior to the year 2008 or used for the continuation of projects that began before 2008. The increase of local government debts has primarily been used as a means of promoting economic and social development in the localities concerned, and has played an active role in China’s response to financial crisis on two separate occasions. However, the problems that exist in the formation and administration of local government debts warrant a high level of attention. In order to effectively mitigate risks, we must take swift action to regulate companies that act as fund raising platforms for local governments, engage in comprehensive supervision, exert strict control over debt increases, and seek to cut the balance of debts on a progressive basis. The repayment of debts and subsequent financing for projects currently under construction should be handled appropriately in line with the principles of classified management and differential treatment. Financial institutions should show a greater awareness of risks and enhance their risk management. They should act prudently in evaluating the financial standing and source of repayment revenue of prospective borrowers in compliance with commercial principles. We must strictly prohibit governments from offering guarantees for the provision of credit in violation of regulations. At the same time, we must formulate a standardized mechanism for the debt financing of local governments. Related departments, local governments, and financial institutions should take prompt action to identify more specific means of resolution, the aim of which shall be to increase transparency, ensure the more effective use of funds, tighten financial discipline, and boost the confidence of the public.

 III. Coordinated action in several aspects that have a bearing on the overall economy

 We must make comprehensive efforts to fulfill the various tasks prescribed at the beginning of the year. The focus of these efforts should be placed on the following aspects: 

 1. We must maintain the overall stability of prices. Though certain factors contributing to inflation have been brought under a certain degree of control, their influence is yet to be fully eliminated. First, owing to the abundance of global liquidity and increases in the price of international primary products, there has been no significant letup in inflationary pressure originating externally. Second, food and domestic prices are continuing to increase by substantial margins with little possibility of a significant decline in the short term, which will result in continued inflationary pressure. Food prices increased by 14.8% in July, contributing 4.38 percentage points to the overall increase in prices. Third, the base effect is still exerting an influence. Though the base effect is beginning to subside gradually, with the turning point emerging in July, it still remained high during the third quarter. Fourth, increases in the cost of labor and other factors of production have driven up prices, and such increases will exert a long-term and rigid influence on price levels. We must be fully aware of the importance of stabilizing overall price levels, and further implement the specific policy measures that have been adopted by the central government. In addition to regulating the overall monetary supply, we should do the following: focus on the supply of agricultural produce, especially foodstuffs, and enhance the monitoring of food quality in order to achieve a balance between supply and demand; take solid steps to reduce overly high circulation costs and work quickly to formulate detailed guidelines on taxation and fees to stimulate the development of the logistics industry; regulate and develop the housing rental market; ascertain the right junctures and the right intensity for price adjustments administered by the government; and enhance price supervision so as to stabilize inflation expectations. We must make all possible efforts to bring down the margin of price increases in the second half of the year in order to maintain the overall stability of prices and lay down solid foundations for efforts to stabilize prices next year.  

 2. We must commit ourselves to the implementation of regulatory policies for the real estate market and ensure that the desired effects are achieved. This year we have taken a range of measures to strengthen and improve the regulation of the real estate market. After six months, the margin of increase in property prices in most cities has dropped, and actual housing prices have dropped in certain cities. Investment and speculation have ebbed and residents have become more rational in their property purchasing behavior. In addition, market expectations are beginning to shift, with signs of cooling visible in some cities with excessively high property prices. Therefore, the initial effects of regulatory policies have already emerged. However, we must be aware that the possibility of rising property prices remains high in both the short term and the long term. Property prices are still high in the majority of cities at present, and buyers and sellers currently take a wait-and-see attitude and are gaming with one another, resulting in a deadlock. Therefore, more time is needed for the full effects of regulatory measures to emerge.   

 At present, the regulation of the real estate market has entered a crucial phase. Therefore, it is imperative that our will does not falter, that the direction of our policies does not change, and that the intensity of our efforts is not relaxed. Governments at all levels must carry out the central government’s regulatory policies for the real estate market without any reservation. First, in order to bring about more rational property prices, we must commit ourselves to inhibiting irrational demand, continue the strict implementation of differential credit and taxation policies as well as buying restriction measures, and take specific measures to prevent the excessively rapid increase of property prices in second and third tier cities. Second, we need to increase the supply of land for real estate projects to promote the effective supply of housing at the present and for a period of time to come, placing an emphasis on the construction of welfare housing and general housing for sale on the market. Third, we must enhance our monitoring and inspection of due-diligence in the implementation of policies. In cases where policies have not been fully implemented, property prices have increased at an excessively rapid rate, and the construction of welfare housing has fallen behind, the cities in question will be subject to closer supervision and shall be required to take corrective action within a prescribed period of time. Fourth, we must take advantage of this period of deadlock in the real estate market to formulate fundamental policies to guarantee the sound and stable development of the real estate market. 

 China’s plan to build 10 million welfare housing units represents a key measure to ensure the effectiveness of regulatory policies. This is a task that must be completed without any hesitation whatsoever. The central government has significantly increased subsidies to local governments this year, adding an extra 28 billion yuan to the 103 billion yuan originally planned. At present, these funds are essentially in place. The central government will continue to increase subsidies in light of increases in fiscal revenue, and priority will be given to increasing the subsidization of central and western regions. The provision of land for the construction of welfare housing projects should be prioritized, preferential policies concerning administrative approval and the reduction or exemption of taxes and fees should be implemented, and financial support for the construction of welfare housing should be increased. The quality of welfare housing should be viewed with a high level of importance. Solid steps should be taken to raise quality standards in welfare housing projects so that people can feel assured about the quality of their housing. Emphasis should be placed on improving institutional development and long-term planning. A sound set of institutions governing the allocation, operation, and return of welfare housing should be formulated, and in particular, emphasis should be placed on ensuing fairness, openness, and impartiality in the use of welfare housing so as to ensure that such projects are met with public support. For the purpose of public supervision, local governments are required to make public their construction plans for welfare housing as well as information pertaining to the commencement of construction, the completion of construction, and the allocation of housing units via government websites and the media.

 3. We cannot relax agricultural and grain production. According to experience, in order to stabilize prices, the key is to maintain the stability of food prices, while the most fundamental thing is to ensure the stable development of agricultural production and grain production. China has enjoyed good grain harvests for successive years, with supply being plentiful. However, rapid increases in consumption have created a tight balance between supply and demand, and the added influence of other factors such as the rising costs of labor, agricultural supplies, and circulation are pressuring the increase of grain prices. Under such circumstances, a greater emphasis should be placed on the stable development of grain production and agricultural production. 

 Although we have had another good summer grain harvest this year, the bulk of China’s grain production is autumn grain. Considering the recent droughts and floods, and coupled with other uncertainties, we are in no position to be complacent about grain production this year. We must focus our efforts on the following aspects. First, we must devote efforts to the production of autumn grain. This involves improving technological services for agriculture, improving the management of farmland for the production of autumn grain, stockpiling, supplying, and monitoring the quality and prices of agricultural supplies, and conducting market regulation and allocation in order to ensure a good grain harvest for the entire year. Second, we must make efforts to prevent and mitigate natural disasters. The regions and departments concerned should exercise a high level of vigilance, fulfill their responsibilities, and enhance collaboration and coordination to effectively reduce the impact of natural disasters. The core themes of the Water Conservancy Conference of the Central Government should be implemented by boosting the construction of irrigation facilities and other agricultural infrastructure, rapidly changing the backward face of China’s irrigation facilities, and fundamentally increasing the capacity of agriculture to withstand the risk of natural disasters. Third, focus must be placed on the circulation of agricultural produce. This is an important aspect of efforts to ensure adequate supply and promote the growth of production. Supervision and monitoring during the circulation process must be enhanced, while resolute efforts should be made to combat various acts that disrupt the market and prevent abnormal fluctuations in the prices of agricultural produce. Provincial governors will continue to be accountable for grain supply, while the mayors of various municipalities and cities will continue to be accountable for the supply of vegetables and non-staple foods. Fourth, various policy measures to support the sustained and sound development of the pig industry should be actively implemented. Comprehensive efforts should be devoted to production so as to increase market supply and promote the stabilization of market prices. At the same time, efforts should be stepped up to improve long-term mechanisms for the stable development of the pig industry on a sustained basis. 

 4. We must promote economic restructuring, energy conservation, and emission reduction. This year is the first year of China’s Twelfth Five-Year Plan. It is important that we create a favorable environment to underpin the transformation of our pattern of development and encourage various sectors to focus their efforts on accelerating the restructuring of the economy, increasing the quality and efficiency of development, creating jobs, improving public well-being, and promoting social harmony. At present, we still face the prominent problem of extensive mode of economic growth and the irrational structure of our economy. In particular, the production of certain energy-intensive products is increasing rapidly, some production activities that were once suspended or cut down have now re-emerged, production capacity has been released on a large scale, certain regions are facing power shortages, and we are facing a serious challenge in the conservation of energy and emission reduction. At the same time, heavy metal pollution and water pollution are showing signs of becoming increasingly frequent, and there are also environmental dangers associated with certain emerging industries. Greater efforts must be made to promote the restructuring of our economy. We should renovate and upgrade the manufacturing industry, intensify technological upgrading in enterprises, accelerate the development of strategic emerging industries, and devote major efforts to the development of service industries. A range of measures should be taken to provide a better environment for small enterprises and support their development. Concerted efforts must be made in regard to energy conservation, emissions reduction, and environmental protection. We should propose clear targets for various localities and enterprises, emphasize the restraining effect of energy consumption and environmental standards on the investment and production activities of enterprises, promote the construction of key programs for energy conservation and emissions reduction, and promote a wide range of social initiatives to conserve energy and cut emissions in an active effort to combat climate change.   

 5. We must deepen reform and opening up. Using reform as a means of resolving difficulties encountered in the process of development is one of our fundamental experiences. This year we have pushed forward a series of reforms in a number of important areas and key aspects, such as expanding the scope of trials for a new type of pension insurance for rural residents, launching pension insurance trials for urban residents, increasing the pace of reforms aimed at making budgets public, reforming personal income tax, launching trials for the settlement of offshore direct investment in RMB, launching trials for the reform of real estate tax, and issuing provisions concerning the expropriation of buildings on state-owned land and compensation. We must be diligent in the implementation of these reforms and review our experiences on a prompt basis. At the same time, we must place a greater emphasis on the top-level design of reforms and take prompt action to formulate and promote deeper reforms in regard to finance, taxation, banking, the distribution of income, and the external economy.

 Generally speaking, China’s imports and exports have grown at a stable and relatively rapid pace this year. The growth of imports and exports slowed down in the second quarter, with the growth of exports slowing more than the growth of imports. Judging from the export orders index and other leading indicators for export trade, our exports will continue to face a range of difficulties and uncertainties in the period ahead. The combined effects of weak external demand and increased operating costs are squeezing down the profits of trading companies, with many SMEs facing greater difficulties. Therefore, we must take this problem seriously. We must maintain the continuity and stability of our foreign trade policies, take specific measures to address the key difficulties faced by SMEs, such as funds shortages, and make efforts to promote steady growth and balance in foreign trade. We need to closely monitor changes in external markets, ascertain the impact that such changes will have on our imports and exports, and formulate corresponding countermeasures. Efforts should be focused on boosting the long-term impetus behind the growth of foreign trade. In addition to supporting SMEs, we should also help large enterprises to become strong enterprises; in addition to stabilizing the export of traditionally competitive products, we should also devote major efforts to supporting the export of high-tech and high value-added products; in addition to bolstering traditional markets, we should also develop new and emerging markets; in addition to promoting the steady development of general trade, we should also accelerate the development of processing trade. Exports and imports should be given equal emphasis, and a balance between pace, quality, and performance should be attained in foreign trade. 

 6. We must make major efforts to ensure and improve the public well-being. The fundamental goal of economic development is to constantly increase the material and cultural living standards of the people. Realizing, safeguarding, and developing the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people is the criteria by which all of our initiatives should be judged. Government administered resources should be further tilted towards employment, social security, education, medical care, welfare housing, and other public services. Focus should be placed on promoting employment among key groups, improving employment guidance and services for university graduates, and enhancing training and employment services for rural migrant workers and discharged military personnel. Pension insurance and other forms of social security should be further improved, trials for the new rural pension insurance system and the pension insurance system for urban residents should be steadily pushed forward, and efforts should be made to ensure that the systems cover 60% of the total population by the end of the year. Faster progress should be made in education, public hygiene, culture, and other social programs. Various policies to expand budgetary sources of education funds should be implemented, the training of general practitioners should be enhanced, teams of physicians in rural areas should be bolstered, and basic and key public health services should be fully implemented. Innovative approaches should be taken in social administration and services, administrative systems for safe production, emergency management, and public security should be improved, the legal and rational demands of the public should be satisfied, and acts to the detriment of public interests should be firmly rectified so as to preserve social stability and harmony.

 Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Hu Jintao as the General Secretary, we must proceed with confidence, be pragmatic in our work, and strive to attain our targets for economic and social development this year so as to make a good start to the Twelfth-Five Year Plan.

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No.17, 2011)

Author: Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China

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