OTHER VOICES

Growth in China

Posted March 14, 2012, at 10:58 p.m.

Premier Wen Jiabao’s report on government work to deputies of the Chinese legislature and members of the political advisory body has struck a chord in and out of Beijing’s Great Hall of the People because of its no-nonsense approach.

But his modest review of past achievements, some of which are more than praiseworthy on such an occasion, displays the government’s awareness of the difficulty of sustaining them.

Given Wen’s famous remark that “confidence is more precious than gold” and people’s rising expectations, it is no surprise that his report should seek to inspire confidence in attaining quality growth. The continuously widening coverage of basic medical insurance and social security services, as well as the substantially raised national poverty line, have encouraged higher hopes about what the government has to offer.

That the national target of gross domestic product growth for 2012 is set at 7.5 percent, the lowest since 2005, is the result of external and internal pressures. … But this is in line with the national leadership’s preference for quality growth. And a slowdown would provide the opportunity for addressing the structural contradictions as well as the imbalance, disharmony and unsustainability.

China Daily, Beijing (March 9)

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