Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Services for social cohesion

By Wang Yukai (China Daily) Updated: 2011-06-09 07:42

Currently there are two urgent problems for social management in China. First, with dramatic changes in social wealth distribution, it is increasingly difficult to coordinate different interests. The widening income gaps between urban and rural people, the rich and the poor, and different professions have led to an increase in mass disturbances and threats to social stability.

Second, moral degradation is threatening basic social order, as shown in the prevalent malpractices in market operations and food and drug safety issues. To improve our social management, it is necessary to restore basic order to society.

To cope with these problems, the government is making efforts to strengthen social management, such as improving the general social management pattern, developing mechanisms to defend the people's rights, investing more on services for migrant workers and people with special needs, promoting public safety, offering more support to social organizations, regulating the Internet and restoring morality.

In implementing these arrangements, I personally think we should insist on the basic principle of "people first", which is the initial logic behind scientific development, and realize better social management through the provision of better social services. The social services we provide will directly determine the result of social management. It is through the services they receive that the people decide whether the government has done enough.

The people are the core issue and the ultimate end of all development, whether economic, political or cultural, and social management is no exception to this. The most direct implementation and expression of that principle is the government using all efforts to defend the rights and interests of the people.

To that end, we can also strengthen the role of social organizations, and encourage public participation in the process of social management. That would not only bring fresh life to social services, but also expand the space for government to buy services for society, thus forming a better general pattern for society.

The author is a professor from China National School of Administration.

(China Daily 06/09/2011 page8)

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