Premier Li Keqiang said on March 5 the country has successfully fulfilled all the main tasks and targets set out in an economic and social development road-map for the 2011-2015 period, striking an optimistic tone for the implementation of the country’s next five-year plan.
Premier Li was speaking at the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, while delivering a government work report to some 3,000 lawmakers coming from across the country.
He said the country made impressive achievements in its development in the 12th Five-Year Plan period, defying a “complicated international environment” and “challenging tasks of carrying out reform and development and maintaining stability at home.”
In particular, the country sustained a high rate of economic growth in the five years and secured milestone progress in structural adjustments.
China’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 7.8 percent in the five years between 2011 and 2015. The enviable growth made China the world’s second-largest economy, and the largest trading nation in terms of goods as well as a major outbound investor, Premier Li said.
Meanwhile, service industries grew to be the largest economic sector in the country, while consumption became a major driver of growth, the Premier noted. Energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped by 18.2 percent, and the emissions of major pollutants were cut by over 12 percent.
Premier Li then pointed to across-the-board infrastructure improvements and major breakthroughs in scientific and technological innovations. Achievements were made in popular undertakings such as manned space flight, lunar exploration program, and deep-water explorations, as well as the less known researches on quantum communications, neutrino oscillation, and iron-based high-temperature superconductivity.
He went on to commend improved living standards and notable social developments, which saw urban-rural income gap narrowed and basic health insurance expanded to achieve complete coverage.
More than 100 million rural residents were lifted out of poverty, and over 300 million rural residents gained access to safe drinking water, Premier Li said.
“China’s soft power continued to grow. The rule of law was advanced in all respects. Significant achievements were made in the military revolution with Chinese characteristics,” the Premier said.