WRAPUP 4-Wen says China set for five more fat years of growth

 * Curbing inflation top priority for 2011 - Premier Wen	
 * Says China's long-term growth trend still strong	
 * Says government better placed to control economy, society	
 * Makes no mention of uprisings across the Middle East
 (Adds comments on environment)	
 By Zhou Xin and Koh Gui Qing	
 BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) - China is on course for another
five years of robust growth, but inflation threatens social
stability and must be tamed, Premier Wen Jiabao said on
 In China's version of a "State of the Union" address to the
annual parliamentary session, Wen said the top priority this
year was to curb price rises that are hurting ordinary people in
the world's second-largest economy.	
 Laying out a plan for the next five years, he said the
drivers of China's meteoric economic rise remained firm.	
 "There is huge potential demand in the market, the supply of
funds is ample, the overall scientific and educational level of
the people is rising," Wen said in a report to the National
People's Congress.	
 He vowed to boost spending on education, healthcare and
public housing, initiatives intended to narrow the chasm between
the rich and poor in China that has stirred resentment.	
 A huge police presence in the capital and a rare public
warning against protests underscored the government's
sensitivity to even the faintest whiff that the unrest roiling
the Middle East could spread to China.	
 Building a fairer society has been a core goal of Wen's
premiership, but the income gap has in fact widened during his
eight years in power and he is trying to lay the groundwork for
improvement before a leadership reshuffle in late 2012.	
 "As Deng Xiaoping said, the first step is to make a part of
the people rich and the next step is to make everyone rich,"
said Shen Jianguang, economist with Mizuho Securities, referring
to the Chinese leader who launched market reforms in the late
 "They have already done a great job on the first step. Some
people have gotten very rich. But the second step is lagging
 The premier's annual address is given in the cavernous Great
Hall of the People, crowded with thousands of delegates vetted
by the Communist Party to acclaim and approve its policies.	
 But Wen's televised speech is also aimed at hundreds of
millions of ordinary citizens who Party leaders fear could
become sources of anger unless grievances about price rises,
unaffordable housing and expensive healthcare are eased.	
 He made clear that addressing those concerns would preoccupy
China's economic policy, shaping decisions on everything from
farmers' incomes to the yuan exchange rate.	
 "Recently, prices have risen fairly quickly and inflation
expectations have increased," Wen said. "This problem concerns
the people's well-being, bears on overall interests and affects
social stability. We must, therefore, make it our top priority
in macroeconomic control to keep overall price levels stable."	
 For 2011, the government aimed to contain average inflation
to 4 percent, Wen said. Inflation has been running near a
two-year high of more than 5 percent in recent months. Lofty
home price rises have also defied government cooling efforts.	
 Wen used his speech to lay out a series of economic targets,
including the customary objective of 8 percent growth this year,
which, as in previous years, is sure to be surpassed.	
 There were no surprises, as all the numbers had previously
been announced. More telling was the tone of Wen's comments,
brimming with the confidence of a government that has presided
over two decades of nearly uninterrupted double-digit expansion.	
 "The government's ability to exercise overall control and
respond to major challenges has increased significantly," Wen
 China will stay in the fast lane, with tens of millions of
people moving to cities from farms, more openings to global
trade and investment, and factories and computers spreading into
the hinterland, he said.	
 The gross domestic product was on track to exceed 55
trillion yuan in 2015. That would make the Chinese economy
nearly half the size of the U.S. economy. In 2010, it was a
little more than a third as big.	
 Wen said China was looking to generate new sources of
domestic demand that would wean economic growth off its reliance
on cheap exports and infrastructure projects.	
 He also told parliament that China would cut energy
intensity by 16 percent and carbon intensity by 17 percent by
the end of 2015.	
 "We are keenly aware that we will have a serious problem in
that our development is not yet well balanced, coordinated or
sustainable," said.	
 He did not mention the popular uprisings that have shattered
authoritarian governments across the Middle East, and observers
see scant risk of China's one-party state soon succumbing to
mass unrest.	
 But his speech showed that leaders in Beijing want to head
off such risks, particularly anger stemming from price rises and
wage gaps.	
 "The world economy will continue to recover slowly, but the
foundation for recovery is not solid. Economic growth in
developed economies is weak," Wen added, noting that some
countries still faced sovereign debt crises.	
 Wen has said government policies would focus on a rural
population of 720 million people, including 153 million migrants
who usually live and work outside their home towns, many working
at building sites and factories that make cheap exports.	
 (Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard and Sui-Lee Wee; Writing
by Chris Buckley and Simon Rabinovitch; Editing by Dean Yates
and Daniel Magnowski)