Jiaxuan, Tang, Presidents & Prime Ministers
These attacks on September 11, 2001 have not only brought disasters to the American people, but also posed a challenge to people the world over. The Chinese people stand by the American people and the entire international community in the fight against terrorism. We care about the progress of rescue efforts and are ready to provide all necessary assistance to the U.S. side.
I am confident that the American people will be able to overcome the current difficulties, properly handle problems in the aftermath and get life back to normal as soon as possible.
This incident shows that international terrorism has become a serious threat to world peace and stability. It has made international cooperation both necessary and pressing. We stand ready to enhance our dialogue and cooperation with the U.S. in cracking down on all violent terrorist activities.
Since the beginning of 2001, our relations have not developed very smoothly. Fortunately, with the concerted efforts of both sides, they have returned to the track of normal development.
The development of U.S.-China relations in these years has shown again that there are no insurmountable barriers between U.S. and China. Though we may have differences over a few issues, what is most important is to deepen mutual understanding and build up mutual trust. To achieve this requires both sides to, first and foremost, discard prejudices and look at each other objectively.
In the more than 20 years since China's reform, the Chinese economy has kept growing at an average annual rate of 9%. The socialist market economy has roughly taken shape. In spite of the global economic slow down, the Chinese economy has, since the beginning of 2001, still maintained growth. The growth rate for the first half of the year was 7.9% and import and export grew by 10.6% over the same period in the last year. We are taking measures to promote the sustained and healthy development of the national economy, primarily by stimulating domestic demand.
This year, we have begun to carry out the 10th Five-Year Plan. We will continue to advance reform, vigorously promote industrial restructuring and upgrading, speed up the application of information technology to economic development and actively implement the three strategies of developing China's west. We are revitalizing China through science, education and seeking sustainable development. We will launch a number of historical projects, such as transmitting gas and power from the west to the east of China, building the Qinghai-Tibet railway and improving the ecological environment of the west.
Our objective is to double China's GDP by 2010 to reach two trillion U.S. dollars and build China into an average-developed country by the middle of this century. It is by no means an easy job for a country like China with a large population, a weak foundation and relatively low levels of production. We have to devote great efforts to these tasks. Still, we have full confidence in our future.
While maintaining social stability and ethnic harmony, China has successfully lifted over 200 million rural people out of poverty. The basic needs for food and shelter of the more than 1.2 billion people in the country have been by and large satisfied. About 300 million people already enjoy a relatively comfortable life. Never before have the Chinese people enjoyed so many opportunities for education, employment, social security and medical services.
China has made major progress in improving democracy and rule of law. Several hundred million rural people have participated in direct elections over the past three years. Many foreign friends including Americans have seen such elections. In China, people must abide by law and at the same time they are protected by law. Common people may sue government groups or officials.
The Chinese citizens enjoy the freedom to have religious faith and engage in religious activities in accordance with law. …