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Briefing on the "Two Sessions" and the Recent Exchange of High-Level Visits between China and the UK

On March 7, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a briefing on the on-going First Sessions of the National NPC and CPPCC and recent developments in the Sino-British relationship. Counselor Liu Weimin briefed the journalists on the abovementioned issues, who were from various foreign and domestic media including the Reuters, Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, China News Service and Guangming Daily.

Counselor Liu said that Premier Wen Jiabao had presented a detailed and accurate report on the work of the government, in which three points deserved attention as follows:

1. Economy. Prudent fiscal policies and tight monetary policies would be implemented this year. The primary task of macro-adjustment was to curb overheated economic growth and prevent the price increase from worsening into the apparent inflation. The specific goals of macro-adjustment were to achieve an increase of 8% in GDP and maintain the inflation rate under 4.8%.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

2. People's Livelihood. The government would increase investment in the sectors of education, public health and social security system respectively by 45%, 25% and 24% compared with last year, strive to newly have 10 million people employed and contain the unemployment rate under 4.5%.

3. Environmental Protection and Product Quality. Last year, the energy consumption per unit GDP decreased by 3.27% compared with last year, which displayed that the Chinese government's efforts had produced a marked effect.. The governmental investment would increase by 31% in order to achieve greater results in this regard. In terms of product quality, the government would adopt serail measures in formulation of safety standards, legislation and monitoring.

In addition, Following the foreign policies promulated by the the Seventeenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the report sticked to the road of peaceful development and the strategies of mutual benefits and win-win progresses. The increase in military expenses was not contradictary with this end because of compensation, price hikes and the need to realize army modernization and national unity. Therefore, the defensive nature of Chinese national defense policies had not been changed.

Counselor Liu gave an account of the visits paid by the British Prime Minister Brown and Foreign Secretary Miliband to China as well as those paid by Tang Jiaxuan, State Council Member, Du Qiwen, Vice Minister in charge of the Central Foreign Affairs Office and Ambassador Liu Guijin, the Chinese government's special representative for Darfur issue. Liu appraised that these visits contributed to great progreses made in Sino-British relations and wide consensus reached on a number of significant international issues. With greatly improved strategic mutual confidence, the Sino-British relation was "better than ever" and faced favorable development opportunities.

Counselor Liu also answered the questions raised by the foreign and domestic journalists concerning the issues including China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue Ministerial consultations, China-UK cooperation on Olympics, China-UK youth exchange system, the attendance of British high-level officials to Beijing 2008 Olympics, Ambassador Liu Guijin's visit to Sudan and Chad.