Yang backs bid to chase dragons
CHINESE President Mr Yang Shangkun has given his personal blessing to Guangdong's ambitious plan to catch up with the economic strength of the four Asian dragons within 20 years.
In an interview with a Guangdong television station, screened last night, the head of state said the province should be the country's experimental zone of economic reform and aim for a rapid development of its economy.
''Last year I accompanied comrade Deng Xiaoping on his visit to Guangdong. His inspection activities here indeed played an historic role in the country's reform and opening,'' Mr Yang said.
''The achievement of Guangdong is significant. Comrade [Vice-Premier] Tian Jiyun has inspected [Guangdong]. With your concerted efforts, I believe Guangdong can realise its plans to catch up with the Asian Four Little Dragons.
''I hope all of you can work together to build Guangdong into a model for the country's reform.'' Mr Yang yesterday appeared at an honorary citizenship award ceremony, quelling rumours about his health in recent months.
The President was accompanied by Guangdong Governor Mr Zhu Senlin when he entered the grand function hall in a hotel and the 86-year-old statesman continuously smiled and waved to an applauding crowd.
In a brief speech, Mr Yang congratulated the award recipients and called on them to continue their efforts to work for China's prosperity.
During the ceremony, a total of 49 Hongkong, Macau and overseas Chinese and foreigners were presented the honorary title.