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Govt 'must restore' public faith

[ 2009-03-11 11:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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China needs to make extra efforts to restore public confidence in its battle against the deepening financial crisis, a top think-tank expert said yesterday.

"Despite tremendous efforts from the government to minimize the impacts of the financial crisis, we can still feel there is a lack of confidence among the public," Chi Fulin, executive president of the China Institute for Reform and Development, told China Daily during an online chat yesterday.

"Some of our citizens are still feeling helpless and hopeless, with massive job cuts and stagnant consumption. We need more incentive and stimulus measures to restore their confidence," said Chi, a member of the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The Chinese government, he said, had already done well by rolling out stimulus plans and industrial upgrade programs over the past few months. "But it will take a lot more to make the people feel at ease and restore their faith."

The All-China Federation of Trade Unions on Monday said as many as 20 million migrant workers had lost their jobs in the coastal areas of the country in the past few months, even as official statistics put the figure at 3 million.

Meanwhile, sales indicators of housing and other commodities showed consumers were still hesitating to spend.

With another round of the financial tsunami "quite likely", Chi, a leading expert on reform who has been invited to share his thoughts with the country's highest leadership, urged the government to step up efforts to restore confidence among its public.

"As Premier Wen Jiabao put it, confidence is more valuable than gold during the crisis," he said.

Chi further said that China should not waste any opportunity to have its say in reconstructing global economic and financial order during its transformation from a big economy to an economic power.

"There is no doubt China will soon overtake Japan to become the world's biggest economy after the United States. But we are not an economic power, and should be realistic about our strengths," Chi said.

It should take about two decades for China to become an economic power "if all goes smoothly", he said.

"The country is again at a crossroads after three decades of fast development," he added.

Chi suggested that China should actively engage in designing global trade, investment and financial rules.

Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said yesterday that China will continuously strengthen its opening-up strategy but warned that potential risks brought by expanded cross-border investment and trade should be closely monitored and brought into control.

Chi suggested that China should consider making its Renminbi an international currency. "The process is demanding, but we should start as soon as possible."

Chi also said the government should step up efforts to encourage overseas investment and trade, which should go hand in hand with the country's efforts to internationalize its currency.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Govt 'must restore' public faith

About the broadcaster:

Govt 'must restore' public faithBernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.