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Chinese lawmaker urges new economic model


Beijing, Mar 8 (EFE).- The speaker of the National People's Assembly stepped down from his post Friday after 10 years in office, with a speech stressing China's need "to change its economic model" and become a more innovative nation.

In an address lasting just over an hour, Wu Bangguo made a political, economic and social review of the past five years, which he alternated with recommendations to those who will lead the nation in the coming decade.

Before almost 3,000 lawmakers, hundreds of journalists and the incoming president and prime minister, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, respectively, Wu spoke of the need for reform.

"The system needs reforms, an opening to the modernization of socialism," he said, but added that any changes would necessarily be subordinate to the Chinese model and to the Communist Party.

Wu said that during his period as speaker of the assembly, it became obvious that "the extensive model of Chinese growth had become unsustainable."

"It was essential to speed up structural economic adjustments, which became even more urgent with the global financial crisis," he said.

As for the way forward, Wu urged that measures be taken that "speed up the transformation and improve the quality of industry," so that the system of growth is "based more on innovation and technological advances."

In 2012 the Chinese economy had its smallest expansion in a decade, growing 7.8 percent.