BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhua) -- People around the world are keeping their eyes open as new leading officials of China's State Council, or the Cabinet, will take office in March.
The first annual session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), which is scheduled to begin on March 5, will decide the premier and vice premiers of the State Council, as well as state councilors and ministers for government departments.
Analysts believe that members of the new central government will be younger, knowledgeable and rich in practical working experience.
It is believed that they will be skilled at tackling all kinds of complicated issues, well aware of pushing forward reform and opening up, and capable of thinking internationally.
In the coming five years, the new Cabinet will continue to commit itself to solving multiple contradictions and problems in China, the world's largest developing country.
It will introduce and implement institutions, policies and measures for the formation of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) proposed the concept of "a period of strategic opportunities" ahead of its 16th National Congress in November 2002.
The Party then believed that the first one to two decades in the 21st century would be an important period of strategic opportunities, and the country should seize and make the best of it.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, China has entered a new stage of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-around way and speeding up socialist modernization.
Despite profound changes that have taken place in and outside China over the past decade, China remains in an important period of strategic opportunities, according to a report delivered at the opening of the 18th CPC National Congress last November.
Such a judgment is the basis for forecasting the personnel layout and reforming measures of the new Chinese government.
China's development in the past 30-plus years has proved that reform in itself is the biggest opportunity.
The incumbent State Council members were decided in March 2008 during the first annual session of the 11th NPC.
With the candidates nominated by President Hu Jintao, the session elected, via voting, Wen Jiabao as the premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. Wen has served as China's premier for 10 consecutive years.
"The incumbent government has scored tremendous achievements in promoting economic growth and improving people's livelihood," Chi Fulin, president of China (Hainan) Institute for Reform and Development, said.
In China, a lot has happened over the past decade.
The country has won battles against SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in southwestern Sichuan Province.
It has survived the gravest international financial crisis and maintained rapid socioeconomic development. China's economy has risen to become the world's second largest, with people's livelihoods notably enhanced.
Problems remain, though.
Extensive growth and structural imbalance in the economy have not been fundamentally changed. Ineffective distribution and widening gaps of wealth have resulted in a series of social problems.
And the international situation is getting even more complicated.
There are only about eight years left for the formation of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, with the new Chinese government confronted with arduous tasks.
More than three months ago, the new CPC leadership came to power and they have since introduced a string of new policies and measures.
They have put forward the "Chinese dream" for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and promoted the implementation of the Constitution.
They have unveiled eight bureaucracy- and formalism-fighting guidelines to curb extravagance and improve officials' working style.
They have vowed no stop in carrying out the reform and opening up, knocked upon the doors of impoverished families, forcefully fought bureaucracy and corruption, while resolutely safeguarding national sovereignty.
In the first 100 ruling days, the new CPC leadership impressed many Chinese as close to the people and forceful, pragmatic and efficient, self-disciplined and sober.
Reform, as they have reiterated, is expected to be the focus of the work of the new central government.
"Reforms in many respects are pressing. If pursued, they may cause some contradictions, but if not, more contradictions will be inevitable," Chi Fulin said.
To reform is to compete with crisis. The biggest highlight of the forthcoming first annual session of the 12th NPC and the first annual session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, or the top political advisory body, will be new institutional breakthroughs, Chi added.
In late January, Premier Wen Jiabao held symposiums to collect opinions on the incumbent government's last work report.
Wen noted that the country's hope lies in innovation, and the essence of innovation lies in emancipating minds and pushing forward reform and opening up.
In early January, Vice Premier Li Keqiang defined reform as "the biggest dividend," and the ultimate goal of reform is to benefit the people.
Chi said he hopes the new government will speed up promoting reform, and via reform, release the country's potential more forcefully; one that is more practical and fruitful in promoting stable development, restructuring and innovation; one that is closer to the people and achieves much in handling interest-based relationships and solving livelihood-related issues.
People expect a lot from the new government.
Yang Lin, who runs a grocery store in the outskirts of Beijing with his wife, hopes the government can carry forward reforming income distribution and household registration systems.
"It's getting harder to make a profit with commodity prices surging," said Yang, whose store opens at 6 a.m. and closes at midnight every day. He migrated from his hometown in central Henan Province years ago.
In two years, Yang's daughter will reach school age, but as her residence is still registered in Henan, Yang is worried that "it will cost much to send her to school in Beijing."
Tan Na, a newlywed working in a foreign-funded enterprise in Beijing, expects the government to better curb housing price surges so that everyone, including her, can have a home.
A survey conducted by people.com.cn, an online news portal operated by Chinese flagship newspaper the People's Daily, shows that 90 percent of the surveyed think current housing prices too high.
Surveyed netizens expect the government to strengthen macro-control, contain housing price rises and boost the construction of affordable houses.
Improving social security, combating corruption and building a clean government, as well as narrowing the income gap, are also among netizens' major concerns.