Premier Wen Reveals Five Roadblocks to China's Economic and Social Development

March 7, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: March 7, 2006 12:00 am

BEIJING – The Fourth Session of the 10th National People's Congress opened in Beijing on March 5. On the opening day Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council delivered a government work report. He stated that National Economic and Social Development faces five major difficulties, including the inability of farmers to increase their incomes.

Premier Wen highlighted the many difficulties and problems in Chinese economic and social life. Some conflicts have been brewing for a long time and have become deep-rooted, he said. These conflicts have not yet been resolved, and there are new problems requiring solutions that have emerged only in recent times. He summarized these conflicts and new problems as follows:

1. It is more and more difficult to increase grain production and hence farmers' incomes. Premier Wen said that the high pressure on the lowing grain prices as well as the rising prices for agricultural production materials has adversely affected the increase of farmers' income and thus, farmers' motivation to increase production. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector is facing a long-term decline and the overall agricultural sector is not as robust as it should be. This in turn poses the hidden peril of grain security.

2. The increased rate of investment in fixed assets is relatively high. Premier Wen indicated that investments in some industrial sectors have grown too rapidly, with too many new ventures and unreasonable investment structures. Thus the pressure of investment rebound still keeps heavy.

3. The bad consequences from over-investment in some professions have started to emerge. Wen Jiabao pointed out that excess production capacity in certain industries is being expanded in mainland China. As a result, the price for relevant products dropped, the inventories increased, the profit of the enterprise decreased, the deficit enlarged, the hidden financial danger is augmented.

4. Many problems related to people's immediate benefits have also not been well resolved. Premier Wen said, and some unresolved problems have become more prominent; for example, seeing a doctor is difficult and expensive and school education is difficult to find and expensive to obtain. People's responses to these matters have been swift and severe. In the specific areas of land acquisition, building demolition, township resettlement, enterprise reform, and environmental pollution, there remain problems with official violating laws, regulations and policies and in turn damaging people's benefits.

5. China's work safety situation is also very serious. Premier Wen said that very severe accidents such as coal mining disasters and road traffic accidents occur frequently, thereby causing heavy damage to people's lives and property.

Premier Wen also pointed out that there were many shortcomings and defects in the work administrated by all levels of the Chinese Communist regime. This includes inertia to its organizational function reform, excessive bureaucracy, low efficiency and superficial work practices. He also said that some government officials practise fraud, extravagance and waste, and that some are even totally corrupt.