China's communist leaders have drawn up a plan for the next five years that calls for doubling the country's gross domestic product per person to about US$1,700 (Ђ1,400) in 2010, from US$854 in 2000, reports said today.
The economic blueprint, released following a four-day annual meeting of the top leadership, calls for raising living standards while improving the efficiency of China's use of energy and other resources, said reports in state-run newspapers.
Energy use per unit of GDP must be reduced by 20 percent from 2005, the plan says.
The report put the average annual income in 2000 at US$854. Average annual incomes for farmers now are about 3,000 yuan (US$370, Ђ300) per person, while annual incomes in the booming cities average more than US$1,000 (Ђ830) per person.
The reports did not indicate any major changes in party policy.
Some 26 million people were living in absolute poverty last year, with annual per capita incomes of less than 668 yuan (US$80; Ђ66) that left them without adequate food and shelter. By international standards, which put minimum income at a minimum of US$1 a day, the number of poor is much higher.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building