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NO.7 (April 1, 2004)
2004/05/22


Report on the Work of the Government (Excerpts)

--The Second Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) was convened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2004. On behalf of the State Council, Premier Wen Jiabao delivered a government work report to the 3,000 NPC deputies. The following are excerpts from this report (subheads are ours-ed.).

       Comprehensive National Strength Increased
   
       Last year was a significant and unusual year in the course of China's development. It wits a year in which we made remarkable achievements in reform and opening up and in the modernization drive. In the face of a complex and volatile international situation, the unexpected outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and frequent natural disasters, governments at all levels and the people of all nationalities put into practice the guiding principles of the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) under the leadership of the CPC and the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents (to always represent the development trend of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people). We braved difficulties and hardships in an indomitable and innovative spirit and made important advances in building it moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.
   
       --We won a great victory in the fight against SARS.
   
       --The economy grew rapidly. China's GDP increased by 9.1 percent over the previous year and reached 11.67 trillion yuan. Per-capita GDP passed the impel rant benchmark of USS 1,000, calculated alt the current exchange rate.
   
       --The country's financial strength grew noticeably. Total government revenue wits 2.17 trillion yuall, 278.7 billion yuan more than the previous year.
   
       --Foreign trade expanded significantly. Total import and export volume was US$851.2 billion, 37.1 percent more than the previous year, raising China from fifth to fourth place in the world.
   
       --More jobs were created than planned. Some 8.59 million urban residents became employed and 4.4 nail-lion laid-off workers were reemployed.
   
       --People's incomes increased. The per-capita disposable income of urban residents grew by 9 percent in real terms, while the per-capita net income of rural residents rose by 4.3 percent in real terms.
   
       --A complete success was achieved iii China's first manned space flight.
   
       These achievements indicate that China's overall national strength lilts reached new heights. They have boosted the confidence and courage of all our people to continue forging ahead. The work we did over the past year was mainly in the following six areas.
   
       1. Taking resolute measures against SARS and concentrating resources on the campaign against it;
   
       2. Exercising timely and appropriate control to promote stable and rapid economic development;
   
       3. Accelerating the development of social undertakings on the basis of an overall consideration of all issues;
   
       4. Caring for people's well-being, creating more jobs and improving the social security work;
   
       5. Pressing forward with institutional innovation and making significant progress in reform and opening up; and
   
       6. Improving the legal system and maintaining social stability.
   
       None of these notable achievements of the past year came easily. We attribute them to the Party Central Committee's broad vision and correct leadership and to the concerted efforts of the people of all nationalities.
         
       Existing Difficulties and Problems
   
       In reviewing our work of the past year, we are clearly aware that many difficulties and problems remain on our way ahead, that there are still quite a few shortcomings in the government's work, that there remain areas our people are not satisfied with, and that it will take a long time to fundamentally eradicate longstanding and deep-seated problems.
   
       The main existing difficulties and problems include the following: Farmers' incomes have grown too slowly; the task of increasing employment and improving social security is arduous; development in different regions of the country is not balanced; the income gap is too wide among some members of society; and pressure on resources and the environment is mounting. As economic growth has accelerated, a number of new problems have emerged. These include, among others, the excessively broad scale of investment, the serious problem of haphazard investment and low-level, redundant construction in some industries and regions, the strain between supply and demand in energy, transport and some raw and processed materials, the marked decrease in grain production, and the widespread illegal appropriation of farmland. The development of social undertakings lags behind, and the masses of people have strong complaints about the cost and availability of schooling and medical treatment. Many low-income residents in both urban and rural areas lead relatively difficult lives. Serious crimes have occurred in some places. Frequent serious accidents that took a heavy toll of life and caused serious losses of property have taught us a sobering lesson.
   
       We are also clearly aware that some government officials have a subjective, formalistic and bureaucratic style of work, and some others are wasteful, extravagant and fraudulent, and even corrupt. It will be an arduous task for the government to rectify itself and fight corruption.
   
       We must not evade these difficulties and problems but instead face them squarely; and we must work hard to resolve them and not let them grow. The government will shoulder heavy responsibilities for years to come. We must remain sober-minded, become more aware of potential problems and enhance our sense of historical responsibility. We must make up our minds to forge ahead in spite of difficulties and to work in a pioneering and creative spirit and in a down-to-earth manner. We must take on new tests with a fresh mental outlook and a new style of work, and must not fail to live up to the expectations of the people.
           
       Adhering to Effective Policies
   
       In setting a target for this year's economic growth of around 7 percent, the Central Government has taken into consideration both the need for continuity in macro-control and the relationship between the pace of economic growth and the conditions for its attainment, including supply and demand in energy, important raw and processed materials, and transport capacity, also taking into account the need to alleviate the pressure on resources and the environment. This target also encourages all sides to focus on deepening reform, adjusting the economic structure and improving the quality and efficiency of economic growth and to devote more financial and material resources to promoting social development and strengthening weak links.
   
       We must adhere to the policy of expanding domestic demand and continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy.
   
       The issuance of construction treasury bonds is an interim policy adopted during a period of insufficient demand. Their scale should be reduced gradually as the increase in non-governmental investment accelerates. We plan to issue 110 billion yuan in construction treasury bonds this year, 30 billion yuan less than last year. As the issuance of treasury bonds is to be reduced year by year, it will be necessary to appropriately increase the investment from the central budget for regular construction annually in order to develop a regular government investment mechanism and stabilize the sources of funding. To begin with, we plan an increase of 5 billion yuan this year. The general idea is to appropriately increase investment from the central budget for regular construction each year for several years while systematically decreasing the issuance of treasury bonds, and at the same time ensuring that the deficit size remains at the current level. We will adjust the way in which funds from construction treasury bonds are used, concentrating them on promoting economic restructuring and ensuring all-round social development. This year, funds from the sale of treasury bonds will be mainly directed toward rural areas, social undertakings, the western region, northeast China and other old industrial bases, ecological improvement, environmental protection, and ongoing bond-financed projects. We need to manage and use treasury bonds well and ensure the quality of the projects they finance and the efficient use of investment capital. We must continue to improve our fiscal and taxation work by working hard to increase revenue and reduce expenditure, collecting taxes in strict accordance with the law and guaranteeing funding for key items. We should give full play to the role of the monetary policy, appropriately control the size of credit and optimize the credit structure to support economic growth while fending off inflation and financial risks. We will work to basically balance international payments and keep the exchange rate for the Renminbi basically stable at a proper and balanced level.
       
       Solving Problems Facing Agriculture, Rural Areas and Farmers
   
       Solving problems facing agriculture, rural areas and farmers is a top priority in all our work. This year we must take more direct and effective policies and measures to strengthen, support and protect agriculture and increase farmers' incomes in line with the need to balance urban and rural development.
   
       The overall grain production capability must be maintained and increased. The strictest possible system for protecting farmland will be implemented, and control over the use of farmland will be strengthened in accordance with the law. We will resolutely put an end to illegal acquisition and use of farmland and rectify unauthorized changes in the use of primary farmland. Reform of the system for land expropriation and requisition will be accelerated, and the expropriation and requisition procedures and mechanisms for compensation will be improved to ensure that the compensation for expropriated or requisitioned land is appropriate. The acreage planted with grain crops will be expanded, and the per-unit yield increased. Support will be focused on increasing production in major grain-producing areas. Projects to industrialize production of high-quality grains will be undertaken. We will make primary farmland capable of producing stable, high yields.
   
       We will promote strategic restructuring of agriculture and the rural economy. Great efforts will be made to develop high-quality, high-yield, cost-effective, eco-friendly and safe agriculture, to improve the quality of agricultural products and enhance their competitiveness. We will carry forward the development of industrial belts for producing competitive agricultural products and promote the industrialization of agriculture. We will energetically develop animal husbandry and prevent and control the spread of the highly pathogenic bird flu and other animal epidemics. We will encourage the development of non-agricultural industries in rural areas and expand intra-county economies. We will steadily advance the process of urbanization, improve the employment environment for farmers in cities, provide migrant workers with more and better training, and create more job channels for the transfer of rural laborers.
   
       We will press ahead with the reform of rural taxes and administrative charges. All taxes on special agricultural products will be repealed except for tobacco, thus reducing the financial burden on farmers by 4.8 billion yuan annually. Beginning this year, the agricultural tax rate will be reduced by more than 1 percentage point per year on average, and agricultural taxes will be rescinded in five years. The agricultural tax burden on farmers will be reduced by 7 billion yuan this year. The Central Government will appropriate 39.6 billion yuan this year from its budget for transfer payments to support the reform of rural taxes and administrative charges. The reforms of county and township government institutions will also be accelerated.
   
       We will deepen the reform of the grain distribution system. All controls over grain purchase and sales markets will be lifted. The reform of state-owned grain enterprises will be accelerated. Control and regulation of grain markets will be strengthened, and subsidies will be given directly to grain producers. The state will appropriate 10 billion yuan this year from its grain risk fund to directly subsidize grain producers. Monitor and control over the prices of the means of agricultural production will be strengthened to protect farmers' interests.
   
       Governments at all levels must invest more in agriculture, rural areas and farmers. This year, the Central Government will appropriate over 30 billion yuan for this purpose, up more than 20 percent on last year. Treasury bond funds should be invested mainly in the construction of six categories of small projects for rural areas (water-efficient irrigation, potable water supplies, roads, methane production facilities, hydroelectric plants and pasture enclosure) and in construction of water control projects, in order to improve the living and production conditions of farmers. We will continue to aid the rural poor through development by increasing funding for poverty alleviation in various ways and expand the work-relief program. Rural financial services will be improved. Rural credit cooperatives will extend more micro-credit loans to rural households to help them expand production. Progress in agro-science will be accelerated, and efforts will be pooled to strengthen the system for spreading the application of science and technology in rural areas.
         
       Promoting West Development and Revitalizing Old Industrial Bases
   
       Promoting the coordinated development of all regions is of strategic importance to China's modernization drive. We need to steadfastly push forward the development of the western region, revitalize northeast China and other old industrial bases, promote the development of the central region and encourage faster development in the eastern region so that the eastern, central and western regions can better interact, complement and support each other, and achieve joint development.
   
       We will continue to implement the strategy of developing the western region. On the basis of a conscientious review of our experience, we will improve our policies and carry out relevant measures to ensure positive and orderly progress. We will work in a down-to-earth manner to ensure successful implementation of such key ecological conservation projects as returning farmland to forests and animal breeding grounds to pastures, protecting natural forests, bringing sources of sandstorms under effective control and preventing karst areas from becoming stony deserts. We will strengthen infrastructure development efforts, emphasizing major projects of key importance to the overall economy to increase the potential for economic development. At the same time, we will continue to pay adequate attention to the construction of smaller projects that will improve the living and production conditions of farmers and herdsmen. Social undertakings will be promoted, with priority given to compulsory education, public health and cultural undertakings at grass-roots levels. We will encourage the development of economies with local characteristics and competitive industries and promote the development of key regions.
   
       We will conscientiously implement the strategy for revitalizing northeast China and other old industrial bases, working to get off to a good start this year. We must carry out all the policies and measures of the central authorities, emphasizing innovation in institutions and mechanisms and opening wider both domestically and internationally. We need to accelerate economic restructuring and technological progress, especially for key industries and enterprises, transform the resource-based economies of certain cities, and solve the problem of sinking land and cave-ins above exhausted mines in coalmining areas. We must uphold the principles of self-reliance and hard work and let cadres and the general public give full expression to their initiative and creativeness.
   
       Accelerating the development of the central region is an important aspect of our endeavor to ensure the even development of regional economies. The state is encouraging the central region to exploit its geographical and economic advantages to quicken the pace of its reform, opening up and development, modernize its agriculture, build key commercial grain production bases, strengthen infrastructure construction, develop competitive manufacturing and new and high-tech industries, and raise its industrialization and urbanization levels.
   
       Accelerating development of the eastern region will strengthen the country financially, materially, scientifically and technologically, thereby providing more support for the development of central and western regions. The eastern region should continue making the most of its advantages, speed up efforts to upgrade its industrial structure and make its economy more oriented to the global market. Areas where conditions are most favorable should take the lead in basically achieving modernization. The eastern, central and western regions should increase cooperation in various ways and gradually achieve common prosperity through coordinated development.
         
       Strengthening Public Health Work
   
       We have three priorities in the public health work this year.
   
       First, priority will be given to strengthening the public health system. We will try to establish within three years a fully functioning system for disease prevention and control and for emergency medical aid that covers both urban and rural areas in order to increase our ability to deal with serious epidemic diseases and other public health emergencies. We need to maintain a high degree of vigilance and take firm and effective measures to control SARS, AIDS, schistosomiasis and other serious communicable diseases.
   
       Second, priority will be given to improving medical and sanitation conditions in rural areas and carrying out pilot projects on a new type of rural cooperative medical care system. We need to focus our medical and health efforts on rural areas, upgrade the medical and sanitation infrastructure and train more medical and sanitation personnel to gradually alleviate the shortage of medical services and medicines in rural areas. We will press ahead steadily with the pilot projects for a new type of rural cooperative medical care and health service system based on the actual conditions in different regions. Our objective is to establish a rural medical care system organized and guided by the government, based on mutual assistance of the participants, and with voluntary participation of farmers and diverse sources of funding from individuals, collectives and the government, one which takes treatment of serious diseases as its main responsibility and ensures that the masses of farmers benefit from it.
   
       Third, priority will be given to vigorously promoting the trial reform of the urban medical care and health service system. We will continue to reform the basic medical insurance system for urban employees, the medical care and health service system and the pharmaceutical production and distribution system. Medical institutions should be managed according to their type in order to ensure rational distribution and efficient utilization of available health care resources. Community-based health care should be developed, and medical and health services should be improved. At the same time, an extensive patriotic sanitation campaign should be carried out in both urban and rural areas.
           
       Intensifying Job Creation anti Social Security Work
   
       Doing everything possible to create more jobs is one of the major responsibilities of the government. This year, we plan to create 9 million jobs for urban residents and get 5 million laid-off workers reemployed.
   
       We will continue to follow an energetic employment policy, focusing on effectively implementing the policies of fiscal and credit support and tax reduction and exemption. The Central Government will allocate 8.3 billion yuan in this year's budget to subsidize reemployment, 3.6 billion yuan more than last year. We will expand the avenues for employment and emphasize the development of labor-intensive industries, small and medium-sized enterprises and non-public economies, promote flexible and diverse types of employment and encourage people to find jobs on their own or become self-employed. We need to develop a fully functioning reemployment assistance mechanism, giving people with difficulties in finding jobs on their own hiring preference in non-profit undertakings funded by the government. We will support efforts of large and medium-sized state-owned enterprises to separate their secondary lines of business from their core business, turn their secondary lines into independent companies, and divert their redundant employees to these new companies. We will focus our effort on the reemployment of laid-off workers in old industrial bases, in cities and industrial and mining areas whose locally available natural resources have been exhausted, and in defense, coal and logging industries. We will improve the employment service system to provide better job training and guidance and assist people to find job opportunities. This year is another peak year for college graduates entering the job market and ex-servicemen being transferred to civilian jobs, so we need to work hard to provide them with effective employment guidance and services.
   
       We will continue to ensure the "two guarantees" (ensuring the basic living standards for laid-off workers and urban residents in difficulty) and better integrate the "three-stage guarantee". We will steadily integrate the subsistence allowances for laid-off workers into the unemployment insurance system. The existing system of basic old-age pensions for workers will be improved by combining contributions from enterprises and institutions with personal accounts. We will expand the coverage of social security in accordance with the law. We will intensify efforts to collect social security contributions from all types of participating enterprises. Governments at all levels must put greater effort into law enforcement and inspection in this regard. We will do a better job in providing subsistence allowances for needy urban residents and establish standards and criteria for eligibility. We will continue to raise social security funds through a variety of channels and manage them properly. On the basis of a review of our efforts to improve the urban social security system in Liaoning Province, we will extend them to Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces. The Central Government will allocate 77.9 billion yuan this year in subsidies for the "two guarantees'' and subsistence allowances for needy urban residents, up 11.3 percent over last year. Local governments will also spend more in this area.
   
       We will take better care of urban and rural residents with special difficulties. We will continue to improve the system of social relief and assistance, and help those families that Cannot afford medical treatment, tuition for their children, housing or heating in winter. We will improve the "five guarantee" (food, clothing, medical care, housing and burial expenses) relief program for childless and infirm people in rural areas and ensure funding for it. We will reduce and exempt taxes in disaster-afflicted rural areas and provide relief for affected people who have difficulties in their production and daily lives. We will show our concern for and support undertakings for disabled persons.
   
       Solving Problems in House Demolition and Payment to Rural Workers
   
       We must promptly solve problems arising from the demolition of urban residential buildings and the expropriation of farmland.
   
       When demolishing urban buildings and relocating their occupants, we must ensure that overall urban development plans and short-term construction plans are strictly followed, that the area to be demolished is defined reasonably, and that the examination and approval procedures are properly applied. Furthermore, we must improve the policy for compensating and relocating displaced inhabitants, and intensify supervision and inspection.
   
       When expropriating farmland, we must strictly limit the area expropriated and follow the plan and proper procedures in accordance with the law. We must promptly give affected farmers reasonable compensation to ensure that their legitimate rights and interests are protected.
   
       Measures must be taken to ensure that rural workers in cities are paid on time and in full. We must pay very close attention to solving the problem of their wages being docked or not paid on time. The State Council has decided to basically solve the problems of default on construction costs and wage arrears for migrant rural workers in the construction industry within three years. Clearing up such back payments should begin with government-invested projects, but different types of enterprises should also be urged to pay off their arrears as soon as possible. Enterprises and managers that refuse to pay back wages to migrant rural workers must be held accountable in accordance with the law. We need to develop a mechanism to ensure the timely payment of migrant rural workers' wages, thereby eliminating the root cause of wage arrears. All enterprises must pay wages on time and strictly obey the minimum wage regulations. We must ensure that all state organs and institutions pay salaries and retirees' pensions on time and in full. New arrears will not be allowed anywhere. Accounts for paying salaries must be placed under stringent management, and budgetary funds should be used to pay wages and salaries first.
         
       Placing the Government Under the Supervision of the People
   
       Governments at all levels must fulfill all of their responsibilities. While improving regulation over the economy and strengthening management of the market, the government must pay more attention to social administration and public service functions. In particular, we need to speed up the establishment of emergency response mechanisms and improve the government's ability to deal with public crises. We must accelerate the separation of government functions from enterprise operations, turn over responsibility for more activities the government should not be engaged in to enterprises, non-governmental organizations and intermediary agencies, and give greater scope to the basic role of the market in resource allocation. At the same time, we need to strengthen regulation and supervision over intermediary agencies. The government must perform all its functions well, and adapt methods and style of management to changing circumstances to improve its administration and work methods.
   
       We will adhere to scientific and democratic policymaking. We need to improve the policy-making process by integrating public participation, expert evaluation and government decision-making to ensure that our policies are scientific and correct. We need to speed up the formation and improvement of systems for making collective decisions on major issues, for soliciting opinions from experts, for keeping the public informed and holding public hearings, and for accountability in policymaking. All major policies must be decided collectively on the basis of in-depth research, extensive solicitation of opinions and full evaluation by experts. These procedures must be followed as a long-term basic work system for the government.
   
       We will perform all our duties in accordance with the law. Governments at all levels must exercise their power and perform their duties within the scope of their authority defined by the law and in accordance with legal procedures. All government employees must learn to deal with economic and social issues by legal means. The system of administrative law enforcement needs to be reformed so that the administrative right to grant licenses and impose penalties will be relatively concentrated. Experiments should be conducted on integrated law enforcement to solve problems of duplicate law enforcement and arbitrary imposition of fines. We need to increase supervision over administrative law enforcement to make it stricter, fairer and more courteous. We should institute an accountability system for law enforcement and a mechanism for investigating and prosecuting law enforcement improprieties, and improve and strictly implement a system of administrative compensation that holds those who exercise power accountable, places them under supervision and compensates those whose rights have been compromised.
   
       All power of the government is bestowed by the people, so the government must be accountable to the people, act in their interests and accept their supervision. Only the people's supervision can prevent the government from being lax in its duties. Governments at all levels should consciously accept the supervision of people's congresses and their standing committees at corresponding levels and the democratic supervision of the committees of the People's Political Consultative Conference, and conscientiously listen to the opinions of various democratic parties, the Federation of Industry and Commerce, persons without party affiliations and mass organizations. At the same time, they should accept the supervision of the mass media and the general public. They must take seriously the people's supervision of government organs and government employees through reconsideration of administrative decisions, administrative lawsuits and other legal channels. We should strengthen internal supervision by supporting supervision departments and audit offices to conduct independent supervision in accordance with the law. To keep the people informed so they can oversee government work, we will introduce a public information system and increase the transparency of government work.
                 
       No 'Vanity Projects'
   
       We should adopt a realistic and pragmatic approach, a scientific outlook on development and a correct attitude toward our achievements.
   
       We need to bear in mind China's current national conditions when acting and making decisions. We must always be realistic and act in accordance with objective laws. We need to work in an enterprising manner while working within our capabilities and stop the practice of blindly competing to outdo each other. We must persist in doing down-to-earth work, seek practical results, conserve manpower and refrain from building "vanity projects" that waste both money and manpower. We must determine the true state of affairs and tell the truth. We should not falsify reports or exaggerate achievements. We must make overall plans that balance the interests of different sectors and stay rooted in the present while having a long-term perspective, instead of blindly seeking quick success and instant benefits. Everything we do must stand the tests of practice, of the people and of history.
   
       The quality of public servants determines how well the government is managed and how efficient it is. It is imperative to build a contingent of public servants who are politically reliable, professionally competent and clean and honest and have a good work style. They should emancipate their minds, seek truth from facts and keep pace with the times. They should bear in mind that public servants must work for the interests of the people, maintain close ties with the people, and serve the people wholeheartedly. They should abide by the Constitution and the law and have the ability to administer the government in accordance with the law. They should be dedicated, hard working and eager to learn. They should observe disciplinary regulations and professional ethics. They should be honest, clean, upright, impartial and devoted. Governments at all levels should be strict in enforcing disciplinary regulations and be fair in meting out rewards and punishments. We must also attach importance to and strengthen the work related to the training of public servants and the evaluation of their work.
   
       We will work harder to build a clean government and fight more vigorously against corruption. We will develop a mechanism that combines education, institutional measures and supervision to prevent and punish corruption. We will resolutely deal with all breaches of the law or disciplinary regulations and punish those guilty of corruption. We are determined to rectify all unhealthy conducts that affect the interests of the people. All government employees, particularly leading officials at all levels, must remain modest and prudent, guard against an arrogant and rash work style, and maintain the style of plain living and hardworking.
       
       Promoting Peaceful Reunification, Maintaining the Stability and Prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao
   
       It is our unshakable goal to maintain the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao. We will continue to uphold the principle of "one country, two systems," according to which "Hong Kong people administer Hong Kong" and "Macao people administer Macao" with a high degree of autonomy, and we will act in strict accordance with the basic laws of Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. We will give our full support to the chief executives and governments of the two special administrative regions in their administration in accordance with the law.
   
       We will unite as broadly as possible people from all walks of life in Hong Kong and Macao and effectively implement the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between the mainland and Hong Kong and between the mainland and Macao. We have full confidence in the future of Hong Kong and Macao.
   
       We will adhere to the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" and, during this current stage, to the eight-point proposal for developing relations across the Taiwan Straits and promoting the peaceful reunification of the motherland. We will vigorously expand mutual visits of individuals and economic and cultural exchanges across the Straits and energetically promote the realization of "three direct links" (direct trade, mail, and air and shipping services) between the two sides. We will protect the legitimate rights and interests of our Taiwan compatriots on the mainland in accordance with the law and continue to pursue the resumption of dialogue and negotiations between the two sides on the basis of the one-China principle. With the utmost sincerity, we will do everything possible to bring about the peaceful reunification of the motherland. We firmly oppose any form of separatist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence" and will never allow anyone to split Taiwan from China by any means. We are convinced that with the unremitting efforts of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, including our Taiwan compatriots, we will realize our common aspiration--the complete reunification of the motherland--as soon as possible.
           
       Adhering to an Independent Foreign Policy of Peace
   
       During the past year we followed an independent foreign policy of peace. Through the effort to seize opportunities, deal with challenges and take the initiative, we made noticeable achievements in foreign affairs. We have won more understanding, trust, respect and support from the international community, and our status and influence in the international arena have further increased.
   
       This year we will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, unswervingly pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, increase friendly exchanges and cooperation with other countries, and strive to further improve international and neighboring environments. We will continue to promote global multi-polarization, advocate democracy in international relations and diversity in development models, and propel the progress of economic globalization in a direction that benefits the common prosperity of all nations. We will adhere to a new concept of security based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, and we will oppose hegemonism, power politics, and terrorism in all its manifestations. We will continue to work for a new international political and economic order that is fair and equitable. We will deepen our friendly cooperation with other developing countries, explore new avenues and forms of cooperation, and support their efforts to become stronger through unity. We will continue the policy of friendship and partnership with our neighboring countries, deepen good-neighborly and friendly cooperation with all our neighbors and safeguard regional peace and stability. We will constantly strengthen our relations with developed countries, strive to seek out and expand areas of common interest, gradually settle existing differences through dialogue and consultation on an equal footing, and facilitate the steady development of bilateral relations. We will actively engage in multilateral diplomacy and play a constructive role in the United Nations and other international and regional organizations.






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