Highlights of the press conference of the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.|
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View the transcript of the questions and answers at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012npc/2012-03/14/content_14832399.htm
Non-public investment into financial sector
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday that the government should allow private capitalto enter the financial sector and make the process "standardized and open".
China's financial authorities are actively considering taking private financing activities in China's east city of Wenzhou as one of the pilots for an overall reform in this field, Wen told a pressconference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session.
"We need to encourage their development, and at the same time put them under strictoversight and supervision," said Wen when commenting on the case of Wu Ying, a businesswoman who was once listed among the country's richest women and faced death penalty for cheating investors out of several hundred million yuan.
Promoting social justice
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will continue to work hard to promote socialjustice during his last year in office.
Income disparity and judicial injustice have incurred many complaints from the people, Wen told a press conference right after the conclusion of this year's parliamentary session. "We must continue to press ahead with various jobs to promote the social equity and justice," Wen said.
The government will formulate an overall plan for the reform of income distribution system, and introduce a regulation on the expropriation and compensation of collectively owned rural land,Wen said.
The government will also extend the coverage of old-age pension program to the entire population, and make efforts on poverty elimination, Wen said. On education, Wen said the government will strive to meet the target of raising government expenditure on education to 4 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
Clergy self-immolations in Tibet
China opposed Tibetan clergy to take such radical moves of self-immolations to disrupt socialharmony and those young Tibetans who set themselves on fire were innocent, Premier WenJiabao said.
Ex-tycoon death sentence
China will handle the legal case involving ex-tycoon Wu Ying based on facts and carefully, said Premier Wen Jiabao.
GDP target not low
Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday that the 7.5 percent GDP growth target for 2012 is a result of the government's proactive macro-control and can not be viewed as low.
China's GDP has reached 47 trillion yuan ($7.46 trillion). On this basis, the growth rate of 7.5 percent can not be counted as low, not to mention the economy would keep expanding at this pace.
Indeed, the Chinese economy faces slowing trend due to impacts from the European debt crisisand contracting overseas demands, Wen noted. Under such circumstances, to lower the growth mainly aims to facilitate economic restructuring, the premier said.
China has no self-interests in the Syrian issue and respects the demand for democracy by the Arab people, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday.
"China does not take sides with any party, including the government of Syria. We make our ownright judgment and determine our own position on this issue on the basis of actual facts" . China believes that the demand for democracy by the Arab people must be respected and truly responded to, Wen said.
Premier Wen Jiabao said he believes Hong Kong will elect a chief executive who enjoys the support of the vast majority of local people.
"The election of the fourth term Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(HKSAR) is currently underway," Wen said.
"I believe that as long as the principle of openness, justice and fairness is observed and relevant legal procedures are complied with, Hong Kong will elect a chief executive who enjoys the support of the vast majority of Hong Kong people," Wen said.
Home price controls
Chinese premier says government controls imposed to cool surging housing prices will continue despite concerns they might lead to an economic slowdown. Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday that housing costs should be in line with incomes but are now "far from coming back to a reasonable level" despite curbs imposed to discourage a flurry of speculative buying.
Premier Wen Jiabao said that the country will not slacken it efforts in regulating the housing prices, which he considered still "far from a reasonable level."
"If we develop the housing market blindly, a bubble will emerge in the housing sector. When the bubble bursts, not only the housing market will be adversely affected, it will weigh on the entire Chinese economy," said Wen.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that China needs not only economic reform butalso political reform, especially the reform of the leadership system of the Party andgovernment.
Wen warnedthat tragedies like the Cultural Revolution may happen in China again should the country fail to push forward political reform to uproot problems occurring in the society.
The country risks losing the results of the reform and opening up over the past three decadeswithout further reforms, as new problems such as unfair income distribution, lack of integrityand corruption, have not been resolved.
"Reform has now come to a critical stage," Wen said, adding reforms must go forward, ratherthan stand still or even go backward.
RMB exchange rate
The real effective exchange rate of Renminbi may have reached its equilibrious level after rising by 30 percent since China launched the exchange rate reform in 2005, Premier Wen said.
The exchange rate of yuan in the Hong Kong markets for non-deliverable forwards have started to float in both directions since last September, Wen said. "That indicates the real effective exchange rate of yuan may have reached its equilibriouslevel," said the premier.
Regarding the exchange rate of yuan, an issue of high interests to the United States, Wen said that China would continue to advance exchange rate reform to have yuan move in bothdirections by a larger margin.
He reiterated that China would stick to the principles of the Doha Round to facilitate free tradeand oppose trade protectionism.
Cooperation is the way to address trade imbalance between China and the United States aswell as the difficulties and frictions arising from it, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said.
The US should open its exports to China and ease related restrictions while promoting two-way investment, Wen said.
"China is prepared to buy more from the United States," said Wen."I believe that cooperation between China and the US is always better than confrontation. As long as we continue to move in this right direction, the business ties between China and the United States will enjoy sustained and sound growth," he added.
Wen said the two countries should create favorable conditions for mutual investment andenhance cooperation in infrastructure construction. China's investment in US' infrastructure construction sector would be a win-win solution for helping boost employment of U.S. workers.Wen also proposed expanding cooperation in high-tech fields, including new energy, new materials, energy conservation and aviation.