Outgoing premier sees a brilliant future for China

Beijing, Mar 5 (EFE).- Wen Jiabao gave his last speech Tuesday as China's prime minister, leaving power with assurances that the Asian giant "has before it a future of unprecedented brilliance."

In an address lasting an hour and 40 minutes before the National People's Assembly, the outgoing premier set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent for 2013 and a goal of creating 9 million new jobs.

At the start of the annual legislative session that will confirm Li Keqiang as his successor and Xi Jinping as China's new president, Wen called for a "great revitalization of the Chinese nation" and suggested that the country "give itself heart and soul to development."

The battle against corruption was one of the most notable subjects of the speech, with Wen saying that the regime should "combat ostentation and waste," as well as "shed formality and bureaucratization."

Wen, accused last year by The New York Times of having amassed an immense fortune together with his family, acknowledged a "high incidence of corruption in certain fields," and also spoke of environmental problems at a time when pollution in cities like Beijing has become a matter of national concern.

During his tenure as prime minister, China surpassed Japan to become the world's No. 2 economy, with a GDP of $8.3 trillion last year compared with $4.2 trillion in 2008.