Beijing: Chinese top legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), apparently has 38 billionaires, who are richer than the richest member of US Congress, and the Chinese government which still swears Socialism wants to have more "legally" rich in the country.

It is perhaps a delicate question to answer for LiZhaoxing, the spokesman of the NPC, when he was told by a foreign correspondent on nationally televised press conference on Friday that the Chinese legislature, which deliberates socialist legislation, has 38 billionaires in its ranks.

These billionaires are richer than the richest US Congressman, the questionnaire told Li, the former Foreign Minister, seeking to know what measures Chinese Communist Party government would take to bridge the growing rich-poor divide in the country.

Not to be stumped by the question, Li a seasoned diplomat said it is news to him that NPC has that many billionaires.

"We hope there will be more rich people in China and these people must get rich by legal means," he said adding that he knew of many people getting rich in China through good work and involved in philanthropy.

He admitted that disparities of several kinds were rising in China.

"There are issues of regional development imbalances, gap between urban and rural development and disparities between rich and poor. That is why the (Communist) party and the government have articulated the goal of ruling by law and taken measures to steadily achieve this noble goal" he said adding that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao may make some announcement on Saturday to bridge the growing disparities.

He virtually ruled out western style democracy to replace one party rule.

"We must be rooted to national conditions at all times. We will not enact laws that do not suite China's national conditions and realities. If a law is required by real life in China then we will enact it as soon as possible. We need to draw from foreign experience but should not copy it blindly," he said adding that building Socialism with Chinese characteristic is a long term historical task.

The NPC which is regarded as a rubber stamp legislature of the Communist Party begins its annual session from Saturday to pass various laws for the year.

(Agencies)