by Zhang Dacheng, Shi Li
OTTAWA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's grace in handling questions at a press conference showed his composure and leadership, a Canadian research fellow told Xinhua in an interview on Sunday.
Wen addressed not only the domestic audience but the international community as well at the press conference following the closing meeting of the Third Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), said Mike Harding, administration officer for the China Research Institute of Ottawa (CRIO), a nongovernmental organization aimed at strengthening relationship between China and Canada.
"I believe he was telling the international audience, and especially those who are expecting China to lead the world back to economic health, that China will do its part, but don't expect it to take on a leadership role in this regard," Harding said. "The premier acknowledged that China has its own unique problems, which it is working to solve, but on its terms and not the West's."
Harding said he agreed with Wen's statement that developing countries are the hardest hit by the ongoing global recession.
Harding said he was impressed by the premier's acknowledgement that the Chinese government is fully aware of problems such as social injustice and the widening income gap and is taking steps to address them.
"It will take time but it's reassuring to see the government acknowledges such problems and is promising to take action to improve the situation," he said.
Harding particularly appreciated Wen's answer to the question about trade imbalance which China is often blamed for.
"He was clear in supporting free trade ... and pointed out that U.S. protectionist measures will hurt both countries," Harding said.
About Wen's comments on the danger of inflation getting out of control, Harding said "I got the impression that this issue is of grave concern to him with respect to the serious negative effects this could have on the Chinese economy."
On foreign investment, Harding said Premier Wen did make it clear that foreign investment is welcome, especially in the field of research and development.
"I gained considerable insight with respect to the capable governance of a wonderful country," Harding said. "It is China's fortune to have Wen as premier."