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Outcome of China's NPC session gesture of confidence, prudence
Posted: March-15-2009Adjust font size:

The annual session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) has reflected both confidence and prudence, a Belgian expert on EU-China relations and Chinese affairs said here Friday.

"The outcome of the congress (session) basically has been both gesture of confidence and prudence," Jonathan Holslag told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Holslag serves as head of research in Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies (BICCS) and an expert at the EU-China Academic Network (ECAN).

He said that the Chinese government "obviously has put all the measures in place to continue a high growth rate and to make sure that the impact of financial crisis is limited."

On the other hand, he said China "is not overestimating or exaggerating its own impact on the global dimensional financial crisis."

"It has been good and balanced combination of ambition but also awareness of the larger picture of the global economic environment," said Holslag, who has been studying China-EU relations and affairs concerning Chinese politics, economy and military affairs.

He said what impressed him most was the Chinese government's concern for social stability that has pressed it to invest enough to boost employment, and its endeavor in unleashing new growth potentials, notably green energy and more advanced economic sectors at the same time.

"It is a bit more moderate step forward than that we have seen in last year's (annual session of the NPC). Nevertheless, given the difficult economic context, it is an important gesture," he said.

"It's a magical figure," he said, commenting on China's 8-percent growth target this year.

"And it is of course also very substantial and important for employment and social climate," he added.

"But the most important thing for Chinese economy is that it keeps growing and especially that it implements all the measures that are needed to launch a swift takeoff as soon as the global economic climate restabilizes," Holslag said.

On Premier Wen Jiabao's pledges for further stimulus plans if necessary at a press conference at the end of the NPC session, Holslag said Wen has adopted "clever practice."

"He is following a step-by-step approach. China is not going totry all its munition right away," he explained.

On increase of China's military spending, he said a rise of 14 to 15 percent was "not insignificant," but still "rather modest compared with other powers."

"I think it is natural for a country that more and more relies on external market to try to find ways to protect and safeguard its economic lifelines," he said.

"It is not a matter that the United States or Europe or other power should try to prevent China from developing this military projection capacity, but basically to grasp as an opportunity for cooperation and for sharing the very vast burden of making a more secure world," Holslag said.

Source: Xinhua News AgencyEditor: Lydia
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