Global experts laud govt feats over past year

Updated: 2014-03-07 07:20

Premier Li Keqiang's Government Work Report at the annual National People's Congress session on Wednesday has been closely scrutinized by experts, media and governments around the world.

The overall reaction has been high praise for the achievements made by the Chinese government since Li took office a year ago.

The consensus is that China faces numerous difficulties and challenges and needs to make arduous efforts to realize the targets laid out by Li's government for 2014.

Li Renliang, a professor at Thailand's National Institute of Development Administration, said that in 2013, despite many obstacles, the Chinese government attained marked achievements in all aspects, and maintained steady economic growth.

Pierre Picquart, a French specialist in geopolitics and professor at University of Paris-VIII, said the reforms carried out by the Chinese government would change the appearance of China and have a big impact on the world.

Ibrahim Yusuf, chairman of the executive board of the Indonesian Council on World Affairs, told Xinhua News Agency that China has achieved remarkable development in social and economic fields in the past year.

Reforms mainly came in the banking sector, where banks faced a risk of bad debt. The Chinese government stressed this issue, which was very impressive, Yusuf said.

The new leaders showed good leadership in the past year and grew fast because they learned from existing problems quickly, especially the way they handled economic affairs. Generally speaking, their leadership was very good, he added.

Cha Jae-bok, a member of the research committee of the Northeast Asian History Foundation, said all of South Korea paid a lot of attention to the new Chinese leadership. It was more trustworthy, executive and approachable. Especially on anti-corruption issues, it stood firm and was clear-cut, Cha said.

Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan said China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Li, maintained sound diplomatic relations with other countries over the past year and played a critical role in international affairs.

Domestically, China has taken measures to deepen reform and eradicate corruption, and it has committed itself to promoting social justice, he said.

Klaus Rohland, the World Bank's country director for China, said since China took measures to deepen reform last year, its economic growth has been on the right path, shifting the focus from quantity to quality.

China's understanding of the rise of credit support, shadow banking and mode of growth was also to the point, he said.

The Indian Times reported Li had pledged to move more people into the middle class, cut government waste and push further the campaign to fight rampant official corruption.

"Much of Li's report served to further define priorities that had been outlined after a party policy meeting in November, which included plans to make the world's second-largest economy more open and competitive," the newspaper commented.

Japan's Kyodo News said Li, who said China would "declare war against pollution" at the opening of the annual NPC session, was determined to address national concerns such as food security and the wealth gap.

Norwegian news agency NTB said China would put more emphasis on reform and balancing the economy rather than stronger growth. "The challenge for China is to bring about a shift without resulting in the closure of factories, a rise in unemployment and social unrest," the agency commented.

The Northeast Asian History Foundation's Cha said there were many thorny issues facing the Chinese government, for instance, traffic congestion in big cities and the smog problem nationwide.

"However, we need to consider China's specific national conditions to find the most appropriate road of sustainable development," he said.