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China Rejects Comparisons with North Africa, Middle East Uprisings


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has rejected comparisons between China and the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

At a press briefing Monday, Mr. Wen told reporters that "it is not right" to compare China with countries such as Tunisia and Egypt, whose leaders were forced out by peaceful mass uprisings.

Mr. Wen's comments came at the close of the National People's Congress, which approved a five-year economic plan aimed at empowering consumers, but rejected any political reforms.

The plan promises more rural health care spending and job help for unemployed farmers, a step that could promote the growth of service industries and consumption.

Social stability in China, where there is a growing gap between rich and poor, is a big concern for the government.

Although activists have called for Middle East-type demonstrations, security forces have intervened before they could start.

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