Chinese premier Wen Jiabao identified tackling inflation as Beijing’s top economic priority this year as his government tries to make the country’s growth more sustainable and equitable.
“Recently prices have risen fairly quickly and inflation expectations have increased,” Mr Wen said in his annual state of the union address in Beijing Saturday. “This problem concerns the people’s wellbeing, bears on overall interests and affects social stability.”
In a speech filled with exhortations to safeguard social harmony and stability, Mr Wen outlined the “brilliant achievements” made by the Communist Party over the last five years and presented a blueprint for the next five-year plan.
First on the list of short-term objectives was tackling persistent price rises that have lifted the benchmark consumer price index by nearly 5 per cent in each of the last three months.
The government must “make it our top priority in macroeconomic control to keep overall price levels stable,” Mr Wen said.
He went on to add that this task could involve “administrative means [an apparent reference to price controls] when necessary.”
But Mr Wen also explained somewhat contradictory plans to continue the rapid minimum wage increases across the country that some analysts believe have already contributed to rising inflation expectations.
With one eye on the wave of unrest sweeping across the Middle East, China’s leaders believe they must urgently address the country’s wide and growing income gap in order to safeguard social stability and maintain their tight grip on power.
“Through unremitting efforts, we will reverse the trend of a widening income gap as soon as possible and ensure that the people share more in the fruits of reform and development,” Mr Wen promised.
In his own state of the union address in late January, US President Barack Obama said America was facing a “Sputnik moment” in a reference to growing competition from the rise of countries like China and India.
Many pundits in the US and elsewhere have fretted over China’s perceived superiority in everything from high-school test scores to management of the economy but in his speech on Saturday Premier Wen highlighted the challenges facing his government.
“We are keenly aware that we still have a serious problem in that our development is not yet well balanced, coordinated or sustainable,” he said.
Environmental degradation, dwindling resources, rudimentary education and health services, over-reliance on investment rather than consumption, a lack of scientific or technical innovation, poor food safety and rampant official corruption were all serious problems identified by Mr Wen.
2011-03-07 15:57 编辑：kuaileyingyu