CHINA / National

China must stick to direction of reform
Updated: 2006-06-05 05:56

Despite complexity of the process, China should never swerve from the path of reform started 28 years ago, said a signed article to be published in Monday's People's Daily, China's most influential newspaper.

The article says China must keep to the right direction on its way of reform. The socialist market economy should be closely linked with the fundamental system of socialism to give better play to the merits of market economy and the superiority of the socialist system.

The article comes as complaints about high medical bills, difficulty in ensuring quality schooling for all children, high housing prices and employment situations are getting louder.

"Reform and opening up has invigorated China. It's an important choice that determines China's destiny today," says the article signed by Zhong Xuanli.

It says reform has greatly removed obstacles that hindered economic growth and helped China establish an initial system of socialist market economy.

It says the transformation from a planned economic system to a socialist market economic system in China has resulted in new historic breakthroughs in its reform and opening-up drive. It has ushered in a new period of comprehensive economic, political, cultural and social development.

"Through reform and opening up, the comprehensive national strength of China has increased greatly; the Chinese people have made a historic shift in living standards from subsistence to moderate prosperity in general; the Chinese society has maintained stability for a long time," says the article, adding China now enjoys a good government and a united people and China's international influence and cohesiveness of the nation have been greatly enhanced.

The glorious achievements in the past 28 years have demonstrated that reform is the only road for China to achieve prosperity, it says.

"Without pushing forward reform, China could not make further progress, nor could it keep past achievements," it says.

The article attributed China's successes in tiding over the SARS outbreak and Asian financial crisis in recent years to its reform that has greatly enhanced the country's material and spiritual strength.

However, China still has a long way to go before establishing a perfect socialist market economy. The fundamental approach to solving contradictions and problems on the road lies in deepening reform, the article says.

It says as China's reform has now entered a crucial period, the urgency and complexity of reform calls for further enhancing determination and confidence to advance reform.

It says China should seek to make new breakthroughs in reform of some key areas and key links in the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010).

It says China should give wider scope to market forces in distribution of resources, improve the administrative system, push forward reform of state-owned enterprises, improve the financial, taxation and banking systems, step up construction of a modern market system and raise the level of opening up.

"To succeed in reform, it is important to forever keep to the right direction," says the article.

It says the socialist market economy is combined with the fundamental system of socialism. The two systems should be linked closely to give better play to the merits of market economy and the superiority of the socialist system.

The article quoted former President Jiang Zemin as saying that "socialism" is indispensable in the socialist market economy as it indicates the character of China's market economy.

The basic economic system, with public ownership in domination and diverse forms of ownership developing side by side, should be upheld and improved, the article says.

The income distribution system, which mainly follows the principle of "to each according to his work" while allowing coexistence of multiple distribution methods, should be upheld and improved.

"On the basis of economic development, more attention should be given to social equity," says the article.

Macro-regulation of the economy should continue and be improved to realize balanced economic growth and optimization of the economic structure, says the article.

It says China should improve its decision making in the reform process to make it more scientific, adding that "people's fundamental interests" should be the starting point of reform and basis of decisions.

It says the reform should take care of the interests of and concerns of various sides to win support of the general public.

It calls for better coordination of reform measures in various fields, noting this is a comprehensive reform that concerns the economic system as well as political, cultural and social systems.

It calls for properly balancing reform, development and stability, which has been an important piece of experience for smoothly pushing forward China's reform, opening up and socialist modernization.

"Reform should be the driving force, development the goal while stability the prerequisite," it says.

It says the intensity of reform and speed of development should be coordinated with the endurance of the society.


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