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The unusual five years: Ma Kai
Latest Updated by 2006-03-04 15:10:10
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Chinese Minister of National Development and Reform Commission Ma Kai says that the idea of scientific development and building a harmonious society are the most important breakthroughs that make the 10th Five-year Plan period unusual.

He made the remarks at the joint conference on the current economic situation and future tasks held by six ministries in Beijing early this week.

He stressed that the two strategies not only played an important role in materializing the vision of the 10th Five-year Plan, but also will have a far-reaching impact on the country's long-term development.

Overcoming difficulties

Ma Kai recalled how China developed in the complicated domestic and international environment over the past five years. China first faced unfavorable impacts of Asian Financial Crisis, 9.11 incident and the world economic slowdown dragged by the stagnation in the US, Europe and Japan. And then the country was hit by the SARS epidemic. Finally unstable and unhealthy factors that may undermine the economy were on the horizon.

The central government has been adaptive to boost investment, domestic consumption and exports, and implement prudent fiscal and monetary policies to avoid any fluctuation. The country's economy grew fast and steadily and overcame the impact of SARS epidemic which was finally under control.

Growing stronger

Ma Kai said that China's comprehensive national strength has substantially been improved over the past five years. With an annual growth rate of 9.5 percent on average, the country's GDP boasted 18.23 trillion yuan, or per capita GDP exceeding 10,000 yuan, in 2005, which were both better than the original expectation.

Each year, 364.66 billion yuan of fiscal revenue was added, making the revenue rise to 3.16 trillion yuan from 1.34 trillion yuan at the end of the 9th Five-Year Plan.

China had held 818.9 billion US dollars of foreign exchange reserve by the end of 2005, representing a five-fold increase.

Road network reached 1.92 million kilometers, of which 40,000 kilometers is express high way. Another 7,000 kilometers of rail road was built during the past five years, making 75,000 kilometers of rail road in operation. More than 150 cities and counties in the mid-west thus are linked with the rest of the world.

The installed power capacity exceeded 500 million kilowatts by the end of 2005.

Ma Kai said China's international status has also increased. China's foreign trade volume, the third largest in the world for two consecutive years, doubled, which was the most remarkable rise among major countries in the world during the same period.

The country is the world's largest producer of crude coal, rough steel, color TV, refrigerators, mobile phones and switches. It also produces more grain, cotton, and meat than any other country in the world.

People's lives are getting better. Per capita income of urban and rural residents increased by 9 percent and 5 percent annually. The Engle coefficient was down by 1.4 and 2.5 percentage points respectively for urban and rural households.

Housing space for urban dwellers expanded to 27.75 square meters per person from 20.3 square meters. Bank savings reached over 14 trillion yuan by the end of last year, more than doubled that in 2000.

China had the largest group of phone users in the world, exceeding 740 million by the end of 2005 which was 2.3 times as many as that in 2001. Its 111 million netizens was the second largest in the world.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: People's Daily website
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