Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says his country will strive for an eight percent growth rate this year, despite the global economic downturn.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reads his work report during the opening session of National People's Congress in Beijing Thursday, March 5, 2009.
In his address to the country’s annual National People's Congress, Wen promised a vigorous government spending program to stimulate the world’s third largest economy.
He projected a leap in China's budget deficit this year to around 140 billion dollars as he detailed the cost of tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure, social programs and agricultural assistance.
However, Wen did not announce an expansion of the 585 billion dollar stimulus package launched last year, as many investors had hoped he would.
Separately, Wen made a fresh overture to China’s rival Taiwan, saying Beijing was ready to holds talks on political and military issues aimed at ending tensions with the island.