CHINA / National

Professionals, entrepreneurs new pillar of China
Updated: 2006-07-26 10:38

China's 150 million entrepreneurs and freelance professionals are being recognized along with workers, farmers and intellectuals as a new pillar of Chinese society and economic development.

The Outlook Weekly, Xinhua's news magazine, reports that entrepreneurs and professionals contribute one third of the country's total tax revenues.

Emerging as a new economic force they include private enterprise owners, technicians and managers and independent professionals such as doctors and lawyers.

These well-educated, highly-motivated professionals and business people are responsible for more than 50 percent of the country's technical patents and hold nearly 10 trillion yuan of capital.

During the period of China's state-planned economy, people were either workers, farmers or intellectuals.

The United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has recognized business people and professionals as a new pillar of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Statistics show that the group has already made a significant contribution to Chinese society. In the prosperous provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu, private enterprises contribute about half of each province's tax revenues.

The United Front Work Department said over the past 10 years, the country's private enterprises created nearly six million new jobs each year, about 75 percent of the annual total.

The department also noted that some business people and professionals have made generous charitable donations to society.

Experts said that although professionals and entrepreneurs make a great contribution to society, their political and social status does not match their economic status.

Qing Lianbin, professor with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said professionals and entrepreneurs hoped the Party and government would create a more favorable policy and legal environment for their development.

Private entrepreneurs hoped some industries, such as construction, logistics and banking, which are only open to state-owned enterprises and foreign companies, could also accept private sector investment.

They also believe that private enterprises and state-owned enterprises should receive equal treatment when applying for bank loans, according to the professor.

Professionals and private entrepreneurs hoped to play a more vigorous role in political affairs by being elected deputies of people's congresses and members of political consultative committees, said Qing.

Qing said the Party and government should push forward a series of reforms, such as improving the social security system, curbing corruption and breaking industrial monopolies, so as to promote the healthy development of professionals and entrepreneurs.