Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday that he should assume responsibility for the problems that had occurred in China's economy and society during his term of office.
"I feel truly sorry," Wen said at a press conference held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
"Due to incompetent abilities and institutional and other factors, there is still much room for improvement in my work," he said.
However, Wen said he had never committed any intentional error in his work because of dereliction of duty.
"I often feel that much work remains to be finished, many things have yet to be properly addressed, and there are many regrets," said Wen, who has been in office for nine years. "They have been nine difficult but momentous years."
"I sincerely hope that the people will forget me and all the concrete things that I have done for them, and they will fall into oblivion as one day I shall go to my eternal rest," he said.
In the last year in office, Wen said, he would be as committed as ever as an old steed, and continue to make his utmost efforts to serve the people, to make up for the shortfall in his work with new achievements, and to win the people's understanding and forgiveness.
Wen said he placed hope on the next generation and had full confidence that they would do better than him.
The premier said that in his 45 years of service to the country he had always made utmost efforts with strong passion and energy to serve the country and the people and he had never pursued personal gains.
"I have the courage to face the people, and to face history," Wen said.
"There are people who will appreciate what I have done but there are also people who will criticize me," he said. "Ultimately, history will have the final say."