Beijing: China's new leadership headed by Xi Jinping is all set to take over power to succeed outgoing President Hu Jintao and his team during the two-week annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) which began here on Tuesday.
The 3000-strong NPC, often described as the rubber stamp Parliament, is formally set to elect Xi as President, number two new leader Li Keqiang as Premier and a Vice President, vice premiers and cabinet, names of which have already been finalised by the ruling Communist Party of China, which held its Plenum ahead of the NPC meet. The NPC will also approve a government institutional reform plan.
The NPC deputies from across the country attended the opening meeting along with top party leaders including Hu, Xi, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Keqiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli.
Outgoing Premier Wen, who held the post for the past 10 years, delivered his last work report at the opening NPC meeting. Wen said during the past 10 years, China has become the second largest economy next only to US.
In the last five years the GDP increased from 26.6 trillion Yuan (USD 4.2 trillion) to 51.9 trillion Yuan, (USD 8.3 trillion). Wen's report set the country's economic growth target of this year at 7.5 per cent like last year taking into consideration the global down turn and steady fall in China's economic growth due to global downturn.
China GDP last year was set at 7.8 per cent. The 29-page report also said 58.7 million urban jobs were created during the same period. The report also promised to curb the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation at around 3.5 per cent. It also vowed to create more than nine million new urban jobs and
keep the registered urban unemployment at or below 4.6 per cent.
The government will work to ensure that the per capita income of residents increases in step with economic growth, according to the report which was distributed to media ahead of the meeting.
The year 2013 is the first year for fully carrying out the guiding principles of the CPC National Congress held in November last which had set out the new political and economic directions, Wen's report said.
"China remains in an important period of strategic opportunities during which much can be accomplished," it said. There are many favourable conditions and positive factors as well as a number of risks and challenges for China's economic and social development, the report said.
The profound impact of the global financial crisis persists, and the recovery of the world economy is full of uncertainty and not yet on a stable footing, the report said.