China gov't advisers urge steady economy

BEIJING: China's top parliamentary adviser said Saturday that keeping the economy stable and steady must remain the government's biggest priority this year.

Jia Qinglin, the Communist Party's No. 4 ranking leader, told delegates at the close of the annual session of the legislative advisory body that more will need to be done to cope with the international financial crisis and keep the economy churning.

"This year it will be crucial for China to continue to deal with the global financial crisis and to maintain steady and relatively fast economic development," said Jia, the conference chairman, at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's closing ceremony.

Beijing declared that China had emerged from the global crisis after economic growth rebounded to 10.7 percent in the final quarter of 2009. But authorities say the global outlook is still uncertain, amid worries that a stimulus-driven torrent of lending is adding to inflation and fueling a dangerous bubble in stock and real estate prices.

About 40 percent of the 5,430 proposals submitted by the advisory body to the government this year focused on stepping up economic reform and growth, the government said. About 1,100 were concerned with social harmony and stability, a major concern amid a growing income gap between rural and urban residents.

The grandson of communist China's revolutionary founder Mao Zedong told reporters after Jia's speech that "the problem of economic development" was China's biggest challenge.

Mao Xinyu, a general and military historian, is among the 2,237 members of the advisory body, which advises the congress on legislation but has no decision making power.