Beijing: Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday promised speeding of political reforms and the creation of a new growth model to revive the country's sluggish economy and doubling the GDP by 2020, as he opened the historic Communist Party Congress that will see a change of guard at the top.
    
Bracing for the once-in-a-decade leadership change, Hu said the government would carry on with reform process to boost domestic demand to re-balance its economy, the world's second-largest, hit by declining exports.
    
"On the basis of making China's development much more balanced, coordinated and sustainable, we should double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents (by 2020)," outgoing President Hu told the 18th Congress of the ruling Communist Party which kicked off at the Great Hall of the People here.
    
According to officials, this is the first time that per capita income has been included in the country's 2020 blueprint. Previous Congresses merely called for the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), not of per capita income.
    
"We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out reform of the political structure and make the people's democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice," Hu said.
    
The Congress was being held amid a declining growth rate of the economy which slid to 7.4 percent from nearly about 12 percent three years ago.
    
Official statistics showed that China's fiscal revenues broke the 10-trillion-yuan (USD 1.6 trillion) benchmark last year, registering growth of 24.8 percent from 2010.
    
Also in 2011, the per capita disposal income for Chinese urban dwellers rose by 14.1 percent to USD 3,493. The figure for rural residents rose by 17.9 percent to USD 1125.
    
As China's economic take-off has been largely propelled by cheap labour in past decades, Chinese workers have remained at a disadvantage in terms of income distribution pegging the domestic consumption down.

(Agencies)

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