It’s already past 12 but to give more journalists more opportunities to ask questions, I have solemnly consent to the Premier to extend the press conference by about 10 minutes.
I’m with Lianhe Zaobao of Singapore. My question is also about the 12th Five-year Plan. We have seen that the academic community has spoken highly of this plan, holding the view that it charts the future course for China’s development. But we also know that as a Chinese saying goes “it is easy to identify a problem but it’s not easy to act on it”. Actually, the concept of transforming the economic development pattern has been repeatedly mentioned ever since the middle of the 1990s. So my question is: Mr. Premier, what poses the biggest difficulty in ensuring the effective implementation of the 12th Five-year Plan?
We have set the target of transforming China’s economic development pattern as you rightly put in your question. It’s easy to identify a problem but it’s difficult to act on it. You asked what poses the biggest difficulty in achieving this objective. I think I can give you a two-fold answer: First, I think we must transform our mindset. And second, I believe it is essential for us to boost the innovation capabilities and in particular related aspect that is we must set out the right criteria in evaluating the performance of government officials in pursuing China’s development. With respect to the mechanisms for enhancing our innovation capability, I would like to say that I believe education, science and technology development play an essential role in pursuing overall development in China. I have always emphasized that to achieve China’s revitalization, it is not just about how big the economy is. It is also about and more importantly about the quality of our human resources and how much progress we have made in science and technology development. In this aspect, we must establish and improve our institutional arrangement for science and technology advances and cultivation of talents. It is important that we carry out reform to combine the efforts of the industry, the academia and research institutions. I believe two figures are actually even more important than the GDP, One is the proportion of expenditure on education in GDP and the other is the proportion of research and development expenditure in GDP. Both concern the innovation capabilities of our country. And the both can offer the strongest and most reliable source of China’s sustained development. With respect to transforming our mindset, it is important that we should no longer worship GDP. Actually, to promote our social progress and improve people’s livelihood, it is important to grow the economy on one hand, but at the same time, our economic growth must not come at the expense of resource and energy depletion or environmental pollution, because that kind of development is not sustainable and will bring adverse impact to our children and grandchildren. The related aspects, that is the evaluation system for government official’s performance, we must ensure that in evaluating their performance, we not only take into account the economic aggregates at local level but also take into account whether there is coordinated economic and social development, whether social fairness and justice has been promoted and whether the people are leading a better life. If we cannot address these above-mentioned areas, it would be difficult for us to ensure the full implementation of our plan. Thank you!