Global ex­perts laud govt feats over past year

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA SOUNDBITES - By XIN­HUA

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang’s Govern­ment Work Re­port at the an­nual Na­tional People’s Congress ses­sion on Wed­nes­day has been closely scru­ti­nized by ex­perts, me­dia and gov­ern­ments around the world.

The over­all re­ac­tion has been high praise for the achieve­ments made by the Chi­nese govern­ment since Li took of­fice a year ago.

The con­sen­sus is that China faces nu­mer­ous dif­fi­cul­ties and chal­lenges and needs to make ar­du­ous ef­forts to re­al­ize the tar­gets laid out by Li’s govern­ment for 2014.

Li Ren­liang, a pro­fes­sor at Thai­land’s Na­tional In­sti­tute of De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said that in 2013, de­spite many ob­sta­cles, the Chi­nese govern­ment at­tained marked achieve­ments in all as­pects, and main­tained steady eco­nomic growth.

Pierre Pic­quart, a French specialist in geopol­i­tics and pro­fes­sor at Univer­sity of Paris-VIII, said the re­forms car­ried out by the Chi­nese govern­ment would change the ap­pear­ance of China and have a big im­pact on the world.

Ibrahim Yusuf, chair­man of the ex­ec­u­tive board of the In­done­sian Coun­cil on World Af­fairs, told Xin­hua News Agency that China has achieved re­mark­able de­vel­op­ment in so­cial and eco­nomic fields in the past year.

Re­forms mainly came in the bank­ing sec­tor, where banks faced a risk of bad debt. The Chi­nese govern­ment stressed this is­sue, which was very im­pres­sive, Yusuf said.

The new lead­ers showed good lead­er­ship in the past year and grew fast be­cause they learned from ex­ist­ing prob­lems quickly, es­pe­cially the way they han­dled eco­nomic af­fairs. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, their lead­er­ship was very good, he added.

Cha Jae-bok, a mem­ber of the re­search com­mit­tee of the North­east Asian His­tory Foun­da­tion, said all of South Korea paid a lot of at­ten­tion to the new Chi­nese lead­er­ship. It was more trust­wor­thy, ex­ec­u­tive and ap­proach­able. Es­pe­cially on anti-cor­rup­tion is­sues, it stood firm and was clear-cut, Cha said.

Cam­bo­dian govern­ment spokesman Phay Siphan said China, un­der the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Li, main­tained sound diplo­matic re­la­tions with other coun­tries over the past year and played a crit­i­cal role in in­ter­na­tional af­fairs.

Do­mes­ti­cally, China has taken mea­sures to deepen re­form and erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion, and it has com­mit­ted it­self to pro­mot­ing so­cial jus­tice, he said.

Klaus Roh­land, the World Bank’s coun­try di­rec­tor for China, said since China took mea­sures to deepen re­form last year, its eco­nomic growth has been on the right path, shift­ing the fo­cus from quan­tity to qual­ity.

China’s un­der­stand­ing of the rise of credit sup­port, shadow bank­ing and mode of growth was also to the point, he said.

The In­dian Times re­ported Li had pledged to move more people into the mid­dle class, cut govern­ment waste and push fur­ther the cam­paign to fight ram­pant of­fi­cial cor­rup­tion.

“Much of Li’s re­port served to fur­ther de­fine pri­or­i­ties that had been out­lined af­ter a party pol­icy meet­ing in Novem­ber, which in­cluded plans to make the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy more open and com­pet­i­tive,” the news­pa­per com­mented.

Ja­pan’s Ky­odo News said Li, who said China would “de­clare war against pol­lu­tion” at the open­ing of the an­nual NPC ses­sion, was de­ter­mined to ad­dress na­tional con­cerns such as food se­cu­rity and the wealth gap.

Nor­we­gian news agency NTB said China would put more em­pha­sis on re­form and bal­anc­ing the econ­omy rather than stronger growth. “The chal­lenge for China is to bring about a shift with­out re­sult­ing in the clo­sure of fac­to­ries, a rise in un­em­ploy­ment and so­cial un­rest,” the agency com­mented.

The North­east Asian His­tory Foun­da­tion’s Cha said there were many thorny is­sues fac­ing the Chi­nese govern­ment, for in­stance, traf­fic con­ges­tion in big cities and the smog prob­lem na­tion­wide.

“How­ever, we need to con­sider China’s spe­cific na­tional con­di­tions to find the most ap­pro­pri­ate road of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

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