China's parliament convenes as new leadership expected
The 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliamentary body, opened its first annual session Tuesday morning at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xinhua reported.
NPC deputies will elect new president and vice president, decide on a new premier, vice premiers and cabinet, as well as approve a government institutional reform plan.
Nearly 3,000 NPC deputies from across the country attended the opening meeting along with top Party and state leaders Hu Jintao, Xi Jinping, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli.
Premier Wen Jiabao delivered a government work report at the opening meeting, chaired by Zhang Dejiang, executive chairperson of the session's presidium.
It was the last time that Wen delivered the government work report as the premier.
"Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, let us unite as one and work hard to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said Wen's report.
The report set the country's economic growth target of this year at 7.5 percent and promised to curb the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase at around 3.5 percent.
It also vowed to create more than 9 million new urban jobs and keep the registered urban unemployment at or below 4.6 percent.
The government will work to ensure that the per capita income of residents increases in step with economic growth, according to the report which was distributed to media ahead of the meeting.
The year 2013 is the first year for fully carrying out the guiding principles of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress, a crucial year for continuing to implement the 12th Five-Year Plan and an important year for laying a solid foundation for finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, said Wen's report.
"China remains in an important period of strategic opportunities during which much can be accomplished," it said.
There are many favorable conditions and positive factors as well as a number of risks and challenges for China's economic and social development, the report said.
The profound impact of the global financial crisis persists, and the recovery of the world economy is full of uncertainty and not yet on a stable footing, it said.
The report warned of a number of difficulties and problems China have been facing, such as unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development as well as increasing conflict between the economic growth and environment.
China sees a growing conflict between downward pressure on economic growth and excess production capacity, said the report.
"The development gap between urban and rural areas and between regions is large, and so are income disparities between individuals," it said.
The government has not fully carried out the transformation of its functions and some areas are prone to corruption.