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China wants stronger military, better economy

Posted on Nov 08, 06:46PM | IANS

China needs a stronger technology-driven military and an economy focussed on per capita besides a peaceful end to rows with other countries, President Hu Jintao declared Thursday

Hu also told 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that while Beijing would continue to embrace political reforms, it would never copy the Western political system.

Setting a new target for economic growth, he said China should double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents by 2020.

"On the basis of making China's development much more balanced, coordinated and sustainable, we should double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents," Xinhua quoted Hu as saying.

The week-long Congress will see a once-in-a-decade leadership transition, with Hu set to be succeeded by Xi Jinping, now the vice president.

This is the first time per capita income has been included in the economic growth target set for 2020.

Previous targets outlined at the earlier two CPC meets merely called for GDP growth.

By 2020, China should have accomplished industrialization, significantly expanded IT application and markedly improved the quality of urbanization, Hu told more than 2,200 delegates in the Great Hall of the People.

Notable progress should be made in modernizing agriculture and the basic mechanism for promoting balanced development between regions should be in place, he said.

Chinese scholars have increasingly expressed concern over growing income inequities, a far cry from the egalitarian slogans that dominated China under Mao.

Hu said China must deepen reforms of the income distribution system and increase individual incomes in step with economic development.

On border disputes with neighbouring countries, he said China would firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and is "committed to peaceful settlement of international disputes".

China, he said, would never yield to any outside pressure.

"China is committed to peaceful settlement of international disputes and hotspot issues, opposes the wanton use of force or threat to use it, opposes any foreign attempt to subvert the legitimate government of any other countries, and opposes terrorism in all its manifestations."

Hu spoke of a powerful military and said the country would strive to complete a military mechanization and make major progress in full military IT applications by 2020.

"We should unswervingly pursue full IT application as the goal in achieving military modernization and step up this effort."

China must strengthen the development of new- and high-technology weapons and equipment, speed up development of modern logistics, train a new type of high-calibre military personnel in large numbers, intensively carry out military training under computerized conditions, and enhance integrated combat capability based on extensive IT application, added Hu.

China, he said, would continue to carry out political reforms but it would never copy Western democratic system.

"We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out the reform of the political structure, and make people's democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice.

"However, we will never copy a Western political system," he said.