Guangdong vowed at the conclusion of the Eighth Provincial Communist Party Congress yesterday to strive towards a 10 per cent economic growth rate this year. The congress also adopted Party Secretary Li Chang-chun's work report and re-elected him Guangdong party boss. The 10 per cent target was higher than the eight per cent national goal set by premier Zhu Rongji and could pose a challenge to the quasi-capitalist province given the region's gloomy economic outlook, he said. Mr Li also promised to achieve a six per cent increase in urban residents' earnings and five per cent growth for Guangdong farmers this year. While Mr Li set high economic goals for cadres, he reminded them anti-corruption was a serious political struggle that would determine the future of the party and country. On political reforms, Mr Li said Guangdong would expand the scope of democratic elections and promised greater transparency to encourage public supervision of authorities. The 15-member Standing Committee which was elected included a number of provincial heavyweights, including Mr Li, Governor Lu Ruihua, Vice-Governor Wang Qishan, police boss Chen Shaoji and newly promoted Deputy Secretary Huang Liman. Ms Huang, promoted from Shenzhen to the provincial leadership about two months ago, is said to be a protege of President Jiang Zemin. Mr Chen was also named one of six deputy secretaries. Provincial propaganda chief Yu Youjun and party secretary-general Cai Dongshi are also on the committee. The committee also included municipal leaders like Guangzhou party boss Huang Huahua and his Shenzhen counterpart Zhang Gaoli. The Standing Committee members were elected through a competitive election - a sample of democracy for the policy-making body. Meanwhile, a Hong Kong newspaper reported yesterday that depositors of a credit union in Huangqi township, Nanhai, had petitioned the congress for two days after the union failed to honour payment when they wanted to withdraw their deposits. The report said about 20 depositors wearing white T-shirts, printed with slogans including 'Pay us our blood money', assembled outside the Provincial Government Building where the congress was meeting. The deposits involved were said to have totalled 1.6 billion yuan (HK$1.4 billion). The depositors reportedly tried to petition Mr Li when he arrived at the building but his car drove through the crowd and he did not accept their petition. They had staged protests in Huangqi, but moved to Guangzhou once they learned that the congress was under way.