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blank.gif (49 bytes)01/06/1999, updated at 16:00        blank.gif (49 bytes)weather.gif (982 bytes)archive.gif (946 bytes)search.gif (947 bytes)


Chinese President Urges Further SOE Reform

  China is currently faced with the major task of rejuvenating state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the conditions of the socialist market economy, according to President Jiang Zemin.

  Jiang, also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the comment during a fact-finding tour of central China's Hubei Province between May 25-30.

  He pointed to the pioneering effort to develop a market economy while upholding the socialist system, and noted the lack of ready-made solutions.

  "We must emancipate our minds, seek truth from facts and continue to carry out bold explorations favorable to promoting the growth of productive forces of the socialist society, increasing the overall strength of the socialist state and raising the living standards of Chinese citizens," Jiang told local officials.

  He expressed confidence that Chinese people are fully capable of overcoming any difficulty and obstacles encountered as long as the Communist Party of China and society as a whole remain closely united.

  Jiang has completed three special fact-finding tours this year to investigate and study issues related to the reform and development of SOEs.

  Jiang's current trip featured visits to the Aeolux Automotive Industrial Corp. in Shiyan, a textile mill in Xiangfan and a steel plant in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan. Jiang visited the municipal re-employment center in Wuhan and urged laid-off workers to alter their concepts of employment and never give up on establishing new careers.

  He praised three people who found new jobs and set excellent examples for other laid-off workers.

  Jiang also visited the Wuhan Research Institute of Post and Telecommunications, a national base for optical fiber communication technology which has commercialized more than 90 percent of its technological findings. He urged the institute to continue its efforts to combine research and development with production and marketing.

  He pointed to the fact that reform has reinvigorated many SOEs, but noted that other SOEs continue to face operational and production difficulties.

  "We must maintain our determination to resolve related problems," said Jiang.

  The Chinese leader said SOEs must continue to introduce technological advances and enhance management in order to improve their competitiveness, innovation capacity and ability to resist risks.

  "Persistency will enable us to open a new era in the development of state-owned enterprises," he added.

  Jiang also inspected the Longwangmiao Section of the water conservancy system along the Yangtze River, an area he visited during the height of last summer's record flooding.

  "Last year's battle against flooding fully demonstrated the great power of the Chinese people. Their power is an important part of national power," said Jiang.

  He also visited a unit of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) which participated in last year's fight against flooding in Wuhan.

  Jiang met with PLA officers above the division level stationed in Hubei Province and said that people will never forget their contributions to the successful battle against flooding. He pointed out that to continue to increase the nation's economic strength provides the foundation for resolving all types of social issues, including the modernization of defense and the armed forces.

  China must simultaneously increase its economic strength and continuously increase defense capability, said Jiang.

  The Chinese president repeatedly emphasized the importance of correctly handling the relationships between reform, development and stability. (Xinhua)

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