China's top economic planner defends macro-economic policy
Beijing, March 6 : China's top economic planner Wednesday defended the government's economic policy as a means of effectively defusing a crisis and maintaining high growth momentum over the past five years.
"I don't want to boast that 'the scenery is unique here', but we have achieved great success over the years," said Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference on the sidelines of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
"In the course of maintaining steady and fast economic growth, we have bettered our economic structure, particularly our demand structure. Expanding domestic demand is our most effective weapon to overcome the global financial crisis and respond to external crisis," Xinhua quoted Zhang as saying.
In 2012, consumption replaced investment to fuel Chinese economic growth, he said.
Over the past five years, China has met unprecedented challenges, particularly from the international financial crisis, as well as from severe natural disasters.
"... China has adopted a series of policies and measures and gradually formulated a package plan to face up to the challenges and achieve great success," said Zhang.
Over the past five years, China realized 9.3-percent annual growth in its gross domestic products (GDP) on average, while keeping to steady growth.
China's economy has continued to reach new heights, said Zhang, with GDP exceeding 30 trillion yuan in 2008, 40 trillion yuan in 2010, and 50 trillion yuan in 2012, the fastest growth worldwide.
People's living standards were improved too. During the period, the income of rural residents rose by 9.9 percent and that of urban residents climbed by 8.8 percent annually on average.
In addition to expanding domestic demand to support economic development, Zhang said, the package to boost the economy comprised promulgating adjustment plans for 10 industrial sectors; encouraging innovation of science and technology to support long-term development; and maintaining social security and improving people's wellbeing.
China also deepened reform of the fiscal, taxation and monetary systems during this timeframe.
"All these results have shown our countermeasures are effective...," said Zhang.
However, he warned: "Naturally, we have met many problems. Our technology innovation capacity remains weak, and our industrial structure demands further adjustment. We must deepen reform in systems and mechanisms."