Premier Wen Jiabao has called it a prime job to maintain a stable and relatively fast economic development and take more direct, powerful and effective measures to implement central policies on increasing domestic demands and promoting economic growth in a substantial way.
"Next year, it is the important target to stop the declining trend of economic growth and it is a must to focus on increasing domestic demands so as to promote economic growth," said the premier during an inspection tour in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality from Dec. 21 to 22.
During his trip, Wen visited a number of local factories, communities, villages and worksites, with the company of Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai and Mayor Wang Hongju.
In his talks with local people, Wen discussed ways to get over the current financial difficulties and speed up reform and development in Chongqing.
In a visit to the reservoir worksite, Wen was told that Chongqing plans to invest 40 billion yuan (5.88 billion U.S. dollars) in water conservation projects in the coming five years as part of its efforts to increase domestic demand and improve the quality of life. "We must make a good use of every coin of the people," he said.
At a workshop of the Chang'an Group, the premier showed great concerns over the negative impacts of the global financial crisis on the city's automobile industry.
The company's car sales have been declining since November. It is expected to further decrease in December and the first quarter of next year, said the company's president Xu Liuping. "We must brave the difficulties by ourselves, but we also need government support," Xu said.
Wen said that difficulties in the country's automobile industry are temporary as it a promising industry, because "China has a huge market."
Wen urged the company to depend on innovation and reform while improving quality and decreasing the cost. "Company leaders must be bold to shoulder responsibilities and the staff should unite as one, to get over the difficulties together," he said.
On Monday morning, the premier paid a visit to a communal social security center to learn about the life of low-income families. "The more financially challenged we are, the greater attention we should pay to those in need," he stressed.
At the home of 76-year-old Ren Guoqing, the premier said the government has decided to continue increasing the pension of retirees, as well as the subsidiaries for low-income families and other families who receive government subsidies.
During his tour in the city, Wen paid an unplanned visit to Chongqing University, where he met thousands of students and encouraged them to be confident in the difficult times.
(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2008)