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Premier Wen confident in economy
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao prepares to chat with Internet surfers on two state news portals in Beijing, Saturday 27th 2010. The two portals, the central government website (http://english.gov.cn/) and the Xinhua News Agency website(http://www.xinhuanet.com/english2010/), will jointly interview Wen, which will be shown live in both text and video.
BEIJING: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Saturday he was confident in China's economic development in 2010, although it was "the most complicated year" for the country's economy.
"Last year was the most difficult year for China's economic development in the 21st century, while this year will be the most complicated," Wen said during an online chat with Internet users.
"We will consolidate the economic recovery while addressing new challenges," he said.
"The top priority is balancing stable and comparatively fast economic growth with the adjustment of the economic structure and the transformation of the development pattern, while keeping inflation in check," Wen said.
"I have confidence in China's economic development," he added.
China's massive stimulus plan proved effective
China's massive stimulus plan has been proved to be effective and China's economy has bottomed out and witnessed a sound recovery, said Premier Wen during the online chat.
The stimulus package brought confidence and courage, and improvements have been gradually made during its implementation, Wen said while chatting online with Netizens at www.gov.cn and www.xinhuanet.com.
Boosted by a raft of stimulus measures, China's economy expanded 8.7 percent in 2009, staging a speedy recovery after being hit by the worst global financial crisis in eight decades.
The stimulus package included fiscal spending; tax cuts; adjustment and support policies for key industries; support systems for scientific development; and improvements in the social security system.
The package has contributed to the nation's development and people's livelihood with both economic and social achievements, he added.
Fair distribution of social wealth stressed
Premier Wen compared a fair distribution of social wealth to the government's social conscience in the on-line chat.
Wen said, "It must be unfair when a society's wealth is in hands of a few people, and in that case, the society must be unstable."
He said it is the government responsibility to "make the cake of social wealth as big as possible" and the government conscience to "distribute the cake in a fair way."
The fair distribution of social wealth concerns social justice, Wen said, adding it actually involves distribution of national income.
However, "the proportion of residents' income is relatively low in the distribution of national income," he said.
To "make the social wealth cake bigger," efforts should be made to concentrate on enhancing production capacity and take economic construction as a central task, he said.
Wen said special attention should be paid to changing the development mode and "make our economic development really focus on the advancement of science and technology and the quality of labor force."
China still faces serious employment pressure
China is still facing serious challenges in employment, though labor shortage has been found in booming cities in China's coastal areas recently, said Premier Wen Jiabao.
Wen attributed the labor shortage in coastal areas to three possible factors. "First, it may be the result of economic recovery, which enables the enterprises to improve production, get more orders and thus need more workers," he said.
"Secondly, it may be that the enterprises are looking for workers for certain professions while the unemployed are looking for other jobs," he said. "Some enterprises need skilled workers, which the society is widely short of."
"The labor shortage is also a result of the growing awareness among the workers of their own rights and interests," Wen said, adding workers would weigh different choices for better salaries.
The labor shortage in certain areas signals a stabilized and recovering economy, but the serious employment situation has not changed in general, Wen said.
"Every year 150 million migrant workers leave their rural homes to look for jobs in cities, 24 million urban unemployed are waiting for jobs, and the number of university graduates will hit a record high of 6.3 million this year, all adding up to our employment pressure," Wen said.
He also mentioned a report saying the number of farmers who go to hunt jobs in cities this year dropped 6 percent from last year.
"It is what we hope to see if they stay home because the economic situation in rural areas is getting better and their living conditions have improved," he said.
"We shall not only encourage migrant workers to be absorbed into the city life, but also work for a better life for those live in the vast countryside," he said.
"I hope the employment situation is better than last year," he said.
University graduates encouraged to start own businesses
Wen said the government encourages university graduates to start their own businesses, as the country is facing serious challenges in employment.
He said the government can usually create job opportunities for 9 million people a year. However, more than 6 million people graduate from universities annually and need jobs.
Statistics show that the number of Chinese university graduates will reach an all-time high of 6.3 million this year, posing a grave challenge for the country's employment.
"It is a very important task for us to create job opportunities for them," Wen said.
He said the government has called on university graduates to work in relatively underdeveloped central and western regions, border regions and rural areas.
"We particularly hope they can start their own businesses, and we have stipulated many favorable policies in this regard," he said, citing a series of favorable loans.
"The government has always attached great importance to the employment of university students," he added.
Bracing for "most complicated" year, Premier web chat focuses on domestic challenges
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao mainly focused on domestic issues and challenges during his second annual online chat here Saturday with the public, in which he described 2010 as "the most complicated year" for the country.
In the two-hour live webcast, Wen answered more than 20 questions, touching on the country's severe employment situation, fledgling economic recovery, soaring housing prices, inflation, corruption, and a cross-Strait economic pact.