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Confidence the one commodity in abundance

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 March, 2009, 12:00am
 

The word 'confidence' appears to be the key word on the lips of central government officials as Beijing braces itself for a difficult year.

Premier Wen Jiabao used the term eight times in his work report, broadcast live on television yesterday, and many ministers also resorted to the word when questioned by reporters.

Mr Wen actually started the trend last month when he gave a speech at the Davos forum in Switzerland.

'Confidence is more precious than gold and currency,' Mr Wen said. In his two-hour speech yesterday, he went on to elaborate the government's measures to cope with the global financial meltdown.

'We are fully confident that we will overcome difficulties and challenges, and we have the conditions and ability to do so.'

Many government officials and experts at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress expressed confidence in the government's economic stimulus package.

And on the sidelines of the meetings, top government adviser Niu Wenyuan, said: 'I am confident the central government's stimulus package will be effective. China's economy will be back on track before October in time for the country's 60th anniversary.'

The quasi-official China News Service said the frequency of the word's use underlined Beijing's confidence in dealing with the crisis.

But Hong Kong-based commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said confidence could not be instilled simply by repeating the word; it was generated by the content of the work report.

'This year's work report not only listed the government's measures but also highlighted the difficulties China is facing now. This is very different from previous practice, in which problems would be buried,' he said.

This showed the government was confident of resolving the crisis. 'But the report also shows that Beijing is not confident in political issues,' he said.

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