|China pulls through int'l financial crisis with determination|
BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China greeted the new year with a promising economy, improving people's livelihood and a stable society, a hard earned achievement in the face of the worst global economic depression since the World War II.
On the first day of 2010, Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to a small village in northern Hebei Province.
He went there not only to convey New Year greetings to common people, but also to investigate how to sustain stable and relatively fast economic growth after China survived the impact of the crisis that struck even the world's most powerful economies.
Under a leadership with determination and foresight and with joint efforts of the nation, the country's economy has withstood the toughest test in this century.
Be PREPARED FOR DANGER, ACT QUICKLY
China has been prepared for possible dangers even at the most peaceful moment.
On June 13, 2008, Hu told a meeting of senior leaders of the central authorities and senior officials of central and local governments that the country should fully understand the problems and challenges it would face and prepare for possible difficulties.
At that time, the world economy was shadowed by the deepening subprime lending crisis in the United States.
In September 2008, following the filing for bankruptcy protection by Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in the U.S. with a history of 158 years, the financial crisis began to spread quickly across the world.
Closely related with the developed economies through its high reliance on foreign trade, the Chinese economy also felt the impact from the crisis.
Export growth slowed down, some factories were closed and workers went home as fewer orders came.
The central government responded with preferential duty policies, easing restrictions over bank loans, lowering transaction tax of real estates and increasing credits for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The central authorities established a special team to cope with the crisis.
On Nov. 6, 2008, China announced ten measures to expand domestic consumption and boost economic growth and decided to adopt a pro-active fiscal policy and moderately loose monetary policy, revealing a hike in government investment aimed at bringing about 4 trillion yuan (579.71 billion U.S. dollars) of investment in two years.
A month later, at the Central Economic Work Conference that set the tone for economic policies in 2009, China drew guidelines for addressing the global financial crisis -- it would expand domestic consumption, accelerate transformation of its development pattern and structural adjustment, deepen reforms in key sectors and links, improve the level of opening up and improve people's livelihood …
Detailed policies followed one after another. The central government issued plans to invigorate development of 10 industries including steel, car making, textile and machinery, as well as several regional development plans.
It also put forward preferential policies to encourage sales of home appliance, cars and motorbikes in rural areas.
More government investment came to infrastructure, scientific research and public service.
Although many decisions were made in Beijing, they were based on collective wisdom.
Since the global financial crisis broke out, nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee have visited various regions, especially the worst-hit regions, talking with people from all walks of life, including businessmen, workers, city residents and farmers.
In November 2008, Hu hold a meeting with representatives of non-Communist parties, the business circle and persons without party affiliation to solicit advice on how to cope with the crisis.
At the annual sessions of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in March 2009, nine top leaders attended dozens of discussions with legislators and political advisors.
As the policies and measures were implemented step by step, the country's economic growth rebounded to 8.9 percent in the third quarter of 2009, realizing a V-shape recovery.
GROW WITH BETTER LIFE
The urgent mission to maintain economic growth and battle the global financial crisis did not hinder efforts to improve people's welfare.
On many occasions, President Hu stressed the importance to maintain needy people's basic living standards, improve people's livelihood and settle problems that ordinary people care most.
In the government work report passed at the NPC annual session in March 2009, the government arranged 130 billion yuan for rehabilitation in earthquake-hit regions, 716.1 billion yuan for rural development, 293 billion yuan for social security, 850 billion yuan for the reform of medical and health care service over three years.
In every inspection tour, the nine top leaders looked into everyday life issues, from employment of college graduates and migrant workers, welfare of disabled people to housing projects for needy families and earthquake-hit people.
Following these tours, instructions were made to build an umbrella program of social security for urban and rural residents, to improve vocational education service in rural areas, to speed up the reform of medical system, to build the basic health care service and improve grass-roots medical facilities.
In 2009, the central budget for education, medical and health care service, social security, employment, affordable housing projects and culture service and other sectors directly related with people's lives, increased by 29.4 percent over the previous year.
Tax cut policies eased the tax burden of enterprises and individuals by 550 billion yuan.
A social pension insurance program for rural residents has started a trial run in 320 counties of 27 provinces and autonomous regions as well as four municipalities directly under the central government.
By November last year, 230 million urban Chinese had joined the basic pension insurance program and more than 1.2 billion Chinese people enjoyed basic medical insurance.
By October last year, 83 percent of college graduates have found jobs. In the first three quarters of last year, 151.98 million rural residents were employed in cities, an increase of 11.57 million over the end of 2008.
In the first 11 months of 2009, new jobs were created for 10.13million people in urban areas.
It is estimated that in 2009, the average net income of a rural resident topped 5,000 yuan for the first time, a year-on-year increase of 6 percent.
On Nov. 15, 2008, while addressing a summit meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20) on financial markets and the world economy in Washington, President Hu called on the international community to make concerted efforts to tide over difficulties arising from the global financial crisis.
"To effectively deal with the financial crisis, all countries should strengthen confidence and intensify coordination and cooperation," he said.
President Hu urged the international community to take all necessary steps to promptly restore market confidence and stop the spread and development of the financial crisis.
In his speech, President Hu spoke of pro-active policies and measures that China had adopted to ensure its economic development and financial stability.
He stressed that the country's measures to expand domestic consumption would effectively boost its economic development and hence contribute to the global economic recovery.
In his speech, Hu conveyed the message that China was determined and sincere in carrying out international cooperation in economic development and safeguarding world's financial stability. His speech was echoed and applauded by many state and government leaders.
During the two-day summit meeting, President Hu frequently met with foreign leaders, during which he introduced to them major policies and measures that China had taken to ensure its economic development and financial stability.
He also exchanged views with those leaders on issues of the international financial system reform and how to cope with the global financial crisis.
Last year, President Hu attended twice the Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and summit meetings of G20 for three times.
He was also present at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the meeting of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) leaders.
President Hu on several occasions urged international efforts to ramp up supports for developing countries, oppose the practice of trade protectionism in any form and improve the current global financial and monetary system.
At the same time, other senior Chinese leaders also worked actively to promote international cooperation on important issues.
During his visits to foreign countries, including Algeria, Gabon, Ethiopia, Russia, Austria, Italy and the United States, China's top legislator Wu Bangguo carried out extensive exchanges with foreign leaders.
Last year, while attending meetings such as the UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals and the eighth prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states, Premier Wen Jiabao put forward proposals on solving major global issues and called on the international community to strengthen cooperation in resolving problems.
Premier Wen also made similar efforts during the 12th summit between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Copenhagen climate talks.
Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang also had in-depth exchanges of views with foreign leaders and worked to seek consensus on international cooperation on major issues.
CRISIS ALSO OPPORTUNITY
During the meetings attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee from late November to early December in 2008, President Hu had repeatedly stressed promoting transformation of development mode and economic restructuring, calling this a fundamental way to realize sustainable development and cope with changes in domestic and international situations.
When joining a panel discussion with NPC deputies from south China's Guangdong Province in March last year, Hu said the international financial crisis, despite its severe impact on China's economy, also means an opportunity for the country.
He said China should take this opportunity to accelerate transformation of its development pattern and structural adjustment so as to maintain a steady and relatively fast economic growth.
Though China retained its momentum of fast economic growth in 2009, the central authorities are mindful of problems in the economy.
In October last year, Hu Jintao set out to investigate eastern Shandong Province with economic issues on the top of his agenda.
During his trip, He paid visit to seven enterprises ranging from textile dyeing and printing company to renewable energy enterprise.
Hu called upon companies to focus on technological innovation and industrial upgrading so as to foster their competitive edge for long-term economic development.
In December last year, speaking at the Central Economic Work Conference, President Hu stressed once again the significance to promote the transformation of the economic development pattern.
He said efforts should be made to optimize the country's economic structure and upgrade its capacity of technological innovation.
During a two-day inspection to Zhuhai, a coastal city in China's southern economic hub of Guangdong Province in December, Hu said the outbreak of the global financial crisis had offered a rare chance for the country to promote the transformation of the economic development pattern.
He urged down-to-earth attitude to accelerate the country's transition into an innovation-driven economy.
President Hu has also called for unremitting efforts to promote Party building in new situations as the global financial crisis posed a severe test to the CPC's competence to lead.
Leaders at all levels should promote the fine traditions of the CPC, bear in mind people's welfare and livelihood, solve problems and bring benefits for the people, he said.
Any practice that undermines people's interests should be rectified and money should be used in areas that would improve people's livelihood and advance economic development.
The President also asked officials to be clean, down-to-earth and have lofty spiritual pursuit.