1. State Taxation Administration officials walking into news briefing
2. Officials taking their seats
3. Wide pan from press to stage
4. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Cui Junhui, Deputy Director, State Administration of Taxation
"In the last year, due to supervision in special fields and on special cases by the tax levying departments, tax evasion to the value of 35 (b) billion yuan (4.2 billion US dollars) was found out."
5. Cutaway, press
6. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Jin Ren Qing, Director, State Administration of Taxation
"In the last year, we investigated and prosecuted several tax evasion cases related to celebrities and got some response from the general public. However, we did not target them because they are celebrities, it is because there was tax evasion and that lead us to them, so we handled it in accordance with the law. I think under the law, celebrities are the same as ordinary people."
7. Cutaways, reporters
9. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Jin Ren Qing, Director, State Administration of Taxation
"This year, we have a new central party committee with Hu Jintao as the head and we will have a new state council in the coming March. For the Chinese people, a new party committee and a new government shall bring a new scene and new methods. I think a lot of material force will be generated. I have a good forecast of this year's economy which is a good foundation for the tax collection this year."
10. Cutaway, reporters writing
11. SOUNDBITE (Mandarin) Jin Ren Qing, Director, State Administration of Taxation
"I believe this year's economy is not below that of last year which is my estimate. So the trend that the tax growth rate is higher than that of GDP is going to continue, because in recent years, the tax kept growing at the same rate or higher rate than that of the GDP. I think this trend will not disappear this year."
China said on Tuesday it would intensify an ongoing crackdown against tax evasion this year in order to boost revenue.
State Administration of Taxation officials said tax evasion deprived government coffers of about 35 (b) billion yuan (4.2 billion US dollars) in revenues last year.
The tax administration has prioritized a crackdown on tax evasion as one of several methods to boost tax revenue.
Deputy director Cui Junhui said at a press conference that tax fraud investigators will pursue both foreign and domestic taxpayers regardless of their size or status.
China's battle against tax evasion last year bagged high-profile cheats including film star Liu Xiaoqing and multimillionaire tycoon Yang Bin.
Liu was arrested June 20 on charges of evading 14.6 (m) million yuan ($1.7 million) in taxes since 1996.
Meanwhile, State Administration of Taxation Director Jin Renqing said that he expected tax revenue growth to slightly exceed gross domestic growth this year, but did not specify a figure.
China posted an 8 per cent year-on-year increase in GDP in 2002 and is expected to record at least 7 per cent GDP growth this year.
China urgently needs higher tax revenues to help offset an expected record budget deficit of 309.8 (b) billion yuan (37.4 billion US dollars) in 2002, fuelled by increased spending on social services and infrastructure projects.