Li re­ceives re­sound­ing sup­port for work re­port

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHAO HUANXIN zhao­huanxin@chi­

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang’s first Govern­ment Work Re­port was given ring­ing en­dorse­ment by na­tional law­mak­ers at the clos­ing of the an­nual leg­isla­tive ses­sion on Thurs­day, in­di­cat­ing a high de­gree of con­sen­sus has been reached to trans­late the re­form-themed doc­u­ment into ac­tion.

The work re­port, made by Li af­ter a year in of­fice, ranks re­form as the top pri­or­ity for the govern­ment in 2014.

The re­port won an ex­tra­or­di­nary 2,887 yes votes from leg­is­la­tors present at Thurs­day’s meet­ing. Only 15 voted against it, and five ab­stained.

The re­sult made the re­port the one with the high­est rate of yes votes in re­cent years un­der sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances, Bei­jing News quoted an uniden­ti­fied mem­ber of the re­port­draft­ing team as say­ing on Thurs­day.

China’s Con­sti­tu­tion stip­u­lates that the State Coun­cil or Cab­i­net is sub­ject to the over­sight of the top leg­is­la­ture and must sub­mit the govern­ment’s work for its re­view and de­lib­er­a­tion.

Cheng Guo­qiang, a re­searcher with the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of the State Coun­cil, said he was not sur­prised that Li’s first-year work re­port had re­ceived overwhelming sup­port.

“Be­hind the fig­ures of yes and no votes, you can see the pop­u­lar will of the people,” Cheng said.

The govern­ment’s ut­most re­solve for push­ing ahead re­form and im­prov­ing the econ­omy and people’s liveli­hoods has been fully man­i­fested in the re­port, and this fits in with the ex­pec­ta­tions of the masses, he said.

Li had par­tic­i­pated in the mak­ing of the re­port from the very be­gin­ning, and the for­mal doc­u­ment was adorned with re­marks char­ac­ter­is­tic of Li, ac­cord­ing to Xiang Dong, chief of the State Coun­cil’s re­search of­fice.

For ex­am­ple, Li said in the re­port “never to have stretches of run­down ar­eas ex­ist side by side with high-rise build­ings”, and “pre­vent poverty from be­ing passed to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

Xiang, also a mem­ber of the govern­ment work re­port draft­ing team, told Bei­jing News that the pre­mier had em­pha­sized that “what we can­not deliver must not be writ­ten in the re­port.”

Based on sug­ges­tions from NPC deputies and CPPCC mem­bers, 16 re­vi­sions were made to the re­port, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased at the end of the leg­isla­tive ses­sion.

One ad­di­tion to Li’s re­port is “cul­ti­vat­ing a new type of pro­fes­sional farmer” listed as a key task for the govern­ment this year.

Liu Jie, a di­vi­sion di­rec­tor with the Depart­ment of Vo­ca­tional and Adult Ed­u­ca­tion un­der the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, said fos­ter­ing pro­fes­sional farm­ers is cru­cial to an­swer­ing the press­ing ques­tion, “Who feeds China?”

The aver­age age of grain farm­ers in China is nearly 50, and 70 per­cent of them have only a ju­nior high school ed­u­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to ear­lier Chi­nese news­pa­per re­ports.

“But an in­vest­ment of a small por­tion of time and money will make a big dif­fer­ence for a raft of is­sues, like food safety,” Liu said.

Groom­ing pro­fes­sional farm­ers, now listed as a pri­or­ity for the govern­ment’s work this year, will bring tremen­dous change to ru­ral pro­duc­tion and life, the of­fi­cial said.

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