Thu, Oct 13, 2005 - Page 5 News List

PRC press trumpets shift to sustainable, 'scientific' policies

AFP , BEIJING

China's state press yesterday welcomed as revolutionary a new blueprint for economic development just approved by the Communist Party, but it warned that implementation of the blueprint was crucial.

On Tuesday, the Communist Party adopted the Eleventh Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development, promising a "harmonious society" based on sustainable and scientific development.

"The scientific mode of development means that we not only talk about the speed of development, but also the costs and efficiency," the Beijing News said in an editorial.

"Sustainable development must be the basis of scientific development," it said.

The editorial also strongly criticized the type of development China has promoted since 1978, saying that although the economy had grown quickly, it had done so with a tremendous waste of resources and accompanied by worsening environmental degradation.

"We can no longer sacrifice the interests of the people in an effort to go for unbridled GDP growth. Development must now serve the interests of the people," the editorial said.

The blueprint, the first issued since Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) came to power in 2002, reiterated the goal of doubling China's per capita GDP by 2010 from around US$900 in 2000.

"The most important aspect of sustainable development means that development for the current generation cannot be made at the expense of the next generation and human development cannot be paid for by environmental destruction."

The English-language China Daily described the new economic plan as a "revolutionary re-orientation," but urged the party to implement sensible policies to reduce an increasing gap between rich and poor.

"Underneath the misleading GDP figures, we are increasingly dogged by the widening income gap between the rich and poor, as well as the divide between urban and rural areas," the paper said. "We hope the sensible outline the Communist Party meeting has worked out is matched with equally sensible policies."

The People's Daily widely praised the plan as marking a new period of development for the nation.

"The old road of high input, high consumption and low output that boosted China's economic growth has come to its end," the paper said in a commentary.

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