Daily commentary: Social formula of hope
New York Times: China makes commitment to social
The Communist Party of China (CPC) unveiled a landmark policy drive yesterday
to curb mounting social inequality and develop a fair and just society as top
leaders ended a four-day plenary session.
Members of the
Politburo of Communist Party of China applaud as the Sixth Plenum of
the 16th CPC Central Committee concludes on Wednesday in Beijing.
The blueprint, aimed at
building a "harmonious society," mapped out guidelines for the country's
sustainable social and economic development by 2020, ranging from reducing the
wealth gap to cracking down on corruption.
The efforts to spread China's newfound prosperity more evenly came at the end
of the Sixth Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee, attended in Beijing by
about 350 full and alternate members.
The annual plenum approved the "Resolutions of the CPC Central Committee on
Major Issues Regarding the Building of a Harmonious Socialist Society,"
according to a communique issued after the meeting.
The communique said the 17th Party Congress will convene in Beijing in the
second half of 2007.
The Xinhua News Agency said it was the first time for the Party to devote a
plenary meeting specifically to social development issues other than political
and economic affairs.
"There are many conflicts and problems affecting social harmony," a statement
adopted by the plenum said. "We must always remain clear-headed and be vigilant
even in tranquil times."
The warning was apparently referring to a growing number of social woes such
as rampant pollution, a growing wealth disparity as well as complaints about the
high cost of education, housing and medical services.
Although the country's economy has surged during the past three decades to
bring wealth to some, millions of farmers, migrant workers and needy urbanites
have been left behind.
While urging that social harmony occupy a "more prominent position," the
communique said the Party in the next 15 years will commit itself to improving
the democratic legal system and human rights protection, narrowing the wealth
gap, increasing employment, improving the government's public service, promoting
people's moral standards, securing public order and protecting the environment.
To achieve these goals, the plenum stressed that "more efforts shall be made
to co-ordinate economic and social development, promote social equity and
justice and strengthen social affairs management and services."
It singled out rural development, employment, education, medical services,
environmental protection, income distribution and social security systems as key
sectors that should be given priority.
The Party also made it clear that it will seek to maintain rapid economic
"A harmonious society above all needs development," the communique said.
The meeting also called for strenuous efforts to continue the fight against
corruption and improve supervision over leading officials and organizations.
The call highlighted the urgency of the Party's anti-graft campaign following
its ousting of Chen Liangyu, the Shanghai Party secretary and a Politburo
member, on September 25. Charges of corruption against Chen are under
Building social harmony "is a major strategic move taken by the Party to
build a fair and just society and attain sustainable social and economic
development," said Wu Zhongmin, a professor with the Party School of the CPC