Premier Wen Jiabao opened the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress on Monday by presenting a work report which revealed, among other targets, that the Chinese government planned GDP growth of 7.5% in 2012. The Wall Street Journal reports that the figure, the first time China has set its growth sights below 8% in the past eight years, signals that China intends to focus more on the quality rather than the speed of its economic expansion and indicates a willingness by Beijing to accept slower growth in exchange for a more balanced development profile.
Wen touched on a number of familiar points in the report, including strengthening China’s social service and security net, improving agricultural and consumer distribution networks, the need for price stability, promoting private investment and boosting consumption. From the report, translated and posted by The Wall Street Journal:
We will work hard to expand consumer demand. We will vigorously adjust income distribution, increase the incomes of low- and middle-income groups, and enhance people’s ability to consume. We will improve policies that encourage consumption. We will vigorously develop elderly care, domestic, property management, medical and healthcare services. We will encourage consumer spending on cultural activities, tourism, and fitness; and implement the system of paid vacations. We will actively develop new forms of consumption such as online shopping; support and guide the consumption of green goods such as environmentally friendly building materials, water-saving sanitation products, and energy-efficient vehicles; and expand consumer credit. We will improve the urban-rural logistics system and infrastructural facilities, such as roads and parking lots, strengthen supervision over product quality and safety, improve the consumption environment, and safeguard consumers’ legitimate rights and interests.
We will continue to improve the investment structure. We will maintain the steady growth of investment and use investment to promote
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