Premier Li Keqiang extended his best wishes to NPC deputies, CPPCC members and the Chinese people for the Lantern Festival, in a departure from his prepared script when he delivered the government work report on March 5.
The one-day festival signifies the end of Spring Festival festivities. This year it fell on March 5 and the Premier extended his wishes approximately midway through his delivery of the report which stated that China is facing a “complicated and challenging” global and domestic environment.
“The road to global economic recovery has been rough,” he said, adding that downward pressure on China’s economy has increased.
The Premier said: “Over the past year, we have faced more difficulties and challenges than anticipated.”
He also said that the authorities must limit administrative powers.
“It goes without saying that powers should not be held without good reason,” he said, and asked governments at all levels to streamline administration and delegate power, in order to create a convenient environment for residents planning to start a business.
Additionally, he promised action concerning environmental protection and individual development.
“We must strictly enforce environmental laws and regulations, crack down on those guilty of creating illegal emissions and ensure they pay a heavy price for such offenses,” he said.
The government must also aim to lift 10 million people out of poverty, and must “ensure that each and every person has the opportunity to change their life through education”.