» 07/16/2012, 00.00
Wen Jiabao warns: hard times ahead for Chinese economy
The Chinese Prime Minister warns: "We are still within the limits, but over time things can get worse." Growth and the trade estimates fall: without democratic change, China risks losing everything.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned today of the threat to the world's second largest economy, of having to face "new hard times" in the future. Speaking during a visit to Chengdu, in Sichuan, the prime minister said: "The economic growth rate is still within the government target range set at the year's beginning, and stimulus policies are working to land the country on the route toward stabilization. However, we should be clear that China's economic rebound is not yet stable, and economic hardship may continue for a period of time".
In the second quarter of 2012, Beijing recorded its lowest growth rate of the last three years. The data on industrial production fell for the seventh consecutive month and the balance of trade with foreign countries does not bode well, however, the gross domestic product is stable.
According to Wen "at the time, economic growth holds. But government officials and businesses need to take stock of the complexity and severity of current economic difficulties in a bid to reach China's economic and social development targets this year." Last March, the Prime Minister had announced a 7.5% target for the year: the eighth goal to decrease in a row.
According to several analysts, Chinese growth can not resist a dictatorial one-party system. Without a democratic opening, economists and political scientists argue, China will not be able to respond to the shocks of the current financial crisis.
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The 12th five-year plan (2011-2015) is on the agenda and could lead to a new model of economic development based on “inclusive growth”. The gap between haves and have-nots and “hatred of the rich” have become a major social problem. Corruption represents about 30 per cent of GDP. Wen Jiabao speaks of reforms, but there is resistance. Vice President Xi Jinping might be promoted.
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The Chinese President proposes political reforms for the capital of China’s modernisation but with “Chinese characteristics”. Two weeks before, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had pleaded for political reforms; otherwise, economic modernisation would fail. Pro-democracy activists examine the issue. For some, the Chinese regime is not willing to “acknowledge internationally accepted values”.
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The economy’s planned growth rate is set at 8 per cent, inflation at 3 per cent. Real estate speculation should be reined in, domestic consumption increased. For the first time, social spending (education, health care and pensions) should grow faster than defence spending. Doubts linger over the plan’s overall feasibility because of resistance by local government.
Lin Mu dies in Xian: from Communist leader to democracy activist
Lin, former aide and friend of reformist Hu Yaobang, died suddenly at the age of 79. Expelled from the Communist Party three times, he called for political reform and for the rehabilitation of the Tiananmen Square movement.
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