Chinese lawmaker urges innovation-driven growth

Updated: 2013-08-30 09:33


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BEIJING -- Chinese legislators on Thursday pushed for an innovation-driven economic growth pattern and urged government officials to refrain from worshipping economic growth.

While maintaining a reasonable speed of economic growth, China should seek a quality, efficient growth pattern, Zhang Yunchuan said at the ongoing bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

Zhang, vice chairman of the NPC's Environment Protection and Resources Conservation Committee, said China's economic development mode has become more "mature," meaning the country is gradually shifting from the traditional growth pattern based on GDP worship to more sustainable development.

To secure sound economic growth in the next five to 10 years, the legislator proposed more investment to increase China's capacity for scientific and technological innovation and an innovation-driven economic growth mode.

China should step up its industrial restructuring and consider a growth pattern that will be conducive to its long-term development interests, according to the legislator.

Zhang made the remarks when joining other legislators in a panel discussion to deliberate on a State Council report on the implementation of China's economic and social development plan and another report on budget implementation.

Zhou Haibo, a legislator from Guangdong Province, said some officials still place great stock in the growth rate, because economic growth is an important factor to consider if officials want to get promoted.

China has set its annual economic growth target at 7.5 percent for 2013.

China's economy is slowing down, easing to 7.5 percent growth in the second quarter from 7.7 percent in the first three months. Worries are growing that the prolonged slowdown could affect the global economy.

At Thursday's panel discussion, lawmakers called for tolerance to the slowdown in the first half of 2013 even if authorities have been accustomed to something more rapid.

"The current economic growth rate is still higher than the 7 percent set out in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015)," said Cai Fang, another legislator, who added that the growth rate now is acceptable, tolerable and appropriate.

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