Beijing, March 5 (Xinhua) China faces great challenges and complex problems in pushing forward economic and social development, Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday at the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.
“The foundation for sustaining steady economic growth is not yet firm, and the internal impetus driving growth needs to be increased,” Xinhua quoted Li as saying while delivering a government work report to the lawmakers.
According to the report, China has kept the economic growth target for 2014 at 7.5 percent, unchanged from the last year. The government will make upgrading exports and promoting balanced trade growth as a strategic priority in 2014, with foreign trade expected to rise by 7.5 percent, it added.
China also plans to raise its defence budget by 12.2 percent to 808.2 billion yuan (about $132 billion) in 2014.
In 2013, the country spent 720.197 billion yuan on national defence, a 10.7-percent increase from the previous year.
The world economic recovery still faces instability and uncertainties, as macro-policy adjustments made by some countries introduce new variables, and emerging economies are facing new difficulties and challenges, Premier Li said.
Domestically, he cited risks from public finance and banking; overcapacity, difficulties in exercising macro-controls and increasing agricultural output and rural incomes, as major challenges.
Tasks of tackling air, water and soil pollution, as well as conserving energy and reducing emissions remain arduous, Li said, adding there are major structural problems constraining employment.
Other problems include public dissatisfaction in housing, food and drug safety, medical services, old-age services, education, income distribution, land expropriation and resettlement, and public order, frequent industrial accidents and the social credibility system, he said.
Some government employees are prone to corruption and some still do not perform their duties with integrity and diligence, Li said..
“We must firmly bear in mind our duties and mission, increase our sense of vigilance against potential dangers, be eager to take on challenges, work tirelessly and effectively to solve problems, and truly live up to people’ s expectations,” he said.