Party plenum to focus on social harmony
(China Daily/Xinhua)
Updated: 2006-10-09 07:47

Building a harmonious socialist society will be high on the agenda of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which opened yesterday in Beijing.

The meeting will deliberate on a draft of the "resolutions of the CPC Central Committee on major issues regarding the building of a harmonious socialist society," Xinhua News Agency reported.

The resolutions are expected to become guidelines for building a harmonious socialist society, defined as a democratic society under the rule of law, and based on equality and justice. It will also be an honest, caring, stable, vigorous and orderly society in which humans live in harmony with nature.

The Party holds that there still exist quite a few problems in the pursuit of social harmony.

Social scientists believe that numerous social conflicts may surface when per capita gross domestic product (GDP) enters the US$1,000-3,000 stage. Policy-makers have realized that improper handling of the complicated situation will lead to economic stagnation and social instability.

China's per capita GDP surpassed US$1,000 in 2003 and reached US$1,714 in 2005.

A study shows China's Gini Coefficient, a measure of income inequality, has reached 0.46, reflecting a big wealth gap that is still expanding.

In 2005, the per capita income ratio between urban and rural residents was 3.22 to 1.

Facing up to these problems, and working to solve them with a more positive attitude to increase harmony and reduce disharmony, is an important guarantee of realizing China's long-term development goals, said a senior Party official at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held in July.

The Fourth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the CPC, held in September 2004, first explicitly made the call to "put building a harmonious society in a more prominent position."

Speaking to a gathering of provincial leaders in February, CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao urged building a social justice guarantee system based on "equal rights, equal opportunities, fair rules and fair distribution."

Qing Lianbin, a professor of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said Hu's instructions will be fully reflected in the resolutions of the current CPC Central Committee plenum, which is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday.

"The CPC will consolidate its foundation of governance by upholding social justice," said Huang Zongliang, a professor at Peking University.

Yue Housheng, author of the book "On Building a Harmonious Society," said yesterday he believed the current session will tackle the outstanding social problems which threaten to destabilize society.