"Income gap" tops senior officials' concerns
In the eyes of senior Chinese officials, the top three problems of 2004 are "income gap," " public security" and "corruption," accounting for 43.9 percent, 24. 3 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, of their responses to a survey, Monday's Beijing Daily reported.
The survey was done by a research group of the Party School of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the training center for Chinese senior officials. The participants were 107 senior officials at or above city level across China studying at the school, the paper said.
Compared with the survey in 2003, noted the paper, " unemployment" dropped from 23.3 percent to 3.7 percent, and " corruption" dropped from 15.5 percent to 8.4 percent.
"The survey result shows that the unemployment and corruption problems have been alleviated in 2004, while the public security concerns rose sharply," Prof. Qing Lianbin from the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told the paper.
The survey shows that about 88.8 percent senior Chinese officials feel confident in the prospect of the ongoing reform while merely 1.9 percent of them do not have enough confidence in reform.
About 61 percent of them think that the overall pace of reform is good while 28 percent of them deem it as "too slow" and 6.5 percent deny "no progress," the paper reported.
"Properly handling the relation between the CPC and government" ranked first among the decisive factors to the success of China's political reform, followed by "expansion of democracy inside the CPC" and "further shifting the function of governments," the paper acknowledged.
Nearly 59 percent of senior officials consider "maintaining social stability" the most decisive factor to the smooth development of the reform, the most popular answer for the second year in a row, the paper said.
"Income distribution reform" and "political reform" rank first and second on the list of their three most concerns selection. If they only had one choice, "personnel reform" would be the choice of 28 percent, according to the paper.
"Senior officials' opinions on reforms will inevitably be affected by what the reforms impose on their individual interests. So we pay much attention to their opinions on the relation between the reforms and their individual interests," Qing told the paper.
Nearly 80 percent of them think that they will benefit from " salary reform," followed by "political reform," picked by 60.7 percent. "Medical reform," "house distribution reform" and " endowment insurance reform" are considered the top three imposing negative influence on their interests, while more than half of them do not know the possible impact of "company management reform " and "employment reform," according to the paper.