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Maintaining steady, fast economic development still China's top agenda for second half

    BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said on Friday it would continue to put maintaining a steady and fast economic development and stabilizing basic prices at the top of its agenda for macroeconomic control in the second half of 2008.

    The remarks were made here at the CPC Political Bureau meeting on Friday. It was presided over by Hu Jintao, CPC Central Committee general secretary.

    According to the meeting, the country's economy was developing in the expected direction after overcoming challenges from home and abroad this year.

    However, there were still challenges to maintain a steady and comparatively fast economic development in the second half, it said.

    Curbing inflation would remain a prominent task while efforts would be reinforced to enhance and improve macroeconomic controls and correctly handle the degree and key points of the control.

    Other key points in the arrangement included: speeding up economic restructuring and the transition of growth patterns, intensifying efforts to save energy and cut emission, improving people's living and promoting post-quake reconstruction.

    The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee also announced the Third Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the CPC would be held here in October.

    Earlier this week, the CPC Central Committee held a meeting here with the non-Communist parties and those without party affiliation, outlining major tasks for economic work in the second half.

    The meeting was presided over by Hu, and presented by Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee.

    The non-Communist parties and those without party affiliation spoke highly of the central authority's efforts to promote economic and social developments, as well as the rescue and relief operations for the May 12 earthquake.

    Statistics showed the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 10.4 percent in the first half over the same period last year.

    The country's consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rose 7.9 percent in the first half, compared with 7.1 percent in June, 7.7 percent in May, 8.5 percent in April and a peak of 8.7 percent in February.

    During the meeting, both Hu and Wen delivered important speeches.

    Hu outlined six tasks for the economic work in the second half. These included maintaining a steady and fast economic development, effectively curbing soaring price increases, boosting agriculture production, actively promoting the transition of economic growth patterns, continuing to push forward reform and opening-up and ensuring the people's livelihood.

    Hu said he hoped the non-Communist parties and those without party affiliation to make new contributions.

    Wen called for more efforts to curb price increases at a reasonable range and make the inflation acceptable for both economic and social development and to seek a balance between fighting inflation and boosting economic growth.

    He said efforts should also be made to create conditions for healthy growth in the future, transfer the growth pattern, boost domestic demand, strengthen overall planning and promote development by means of reform.

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