--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Social Change Demands Further Gov't Reform

In 2004, with the implementation of the people-centered concept of development, government bodies at all levels met unprecedented challenges: suddenly they had to deal with more complex and multifaceted objectives and issues. The effects of international pressures were greater, as were the pressures of various -- and often conflicting -- interest groups and social trends. At the same time, their own administration was being more tightly controlled and regulated, according to an article in the March 7 issue of Outlook Weekly.

Satisfying diverse needs

The article said the core content of the government's people-centered concept of scientific development lies in enabling more people to enjoy the fruits of development more fairly: essentially, making the nation's reform more systematic and its objectives more balanced. This was a conspicuous characteristic of the government's policymaking last year.

Government work was steered toward including the interests of different groups. Because the largest group in China is farmers and the largest gap is between the urban and rural areas, the central government issued many policies to benefit farmers, while other disadvantaged groups and regions became a major focus.

In 2004, the central government released the No. 1 Document on agriculture, which set out such policies as scrapping the agricultural tax and offering direct subsidies to farmers. Direct benefits to farmers are assessed at 45.1 billion yuan (US$5.5 billion). Following this, another 27 preferential policies for this group were issued in the No. 1 Document of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

These policies indicate the government's determination to carry out tougher reforms, adjusting financial mechanisms to downsize the grassroots bureaucracy while maintaining normal operations. Ultimately, this will benefit the farmers by steering public expenditure toward such areas as education, health and infrastructure construction.

Government work is changing to include comprehensive development as well as specific emphasis, according to Liu Chun, director of the CPC Central Committee Party School department of politics and law.

Improving emergency response

The increase in emergencies in the past several years has required the government to adjust its emphasis and pace according to importance and urgency. Also, issues that were once considered non-mainstream have come within the scope of the government, said Liu.

Such changes were first demonstrated in the fight against SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003. In 2004, the government had a better understanding and more mature policies to handle emergencies and group disturbances, such as when it had to deal with bottlenecks in coal, power and oil transportation; frequent industrial accidents; food safety incidents; and environmental disasters.

Governments at all levels now have a sense of crisis, and their investment in emergency preparedness and law enforcement has shifted toward areas that have been largely ignored for the past 20 years.

Raising standards for gov't administration

A government ruled by law is the foundation of a country ruled by law. At present, an estimated 80 percent of all active laws and regulations are those pertaining to governance and administration, and many are being strengthened and clarified.

For example, China first adopted the official accountability system during SARS outbreak. The Provisional Rules on Resignation of Leadership issued last April expanded and improved the system. Sanctions are also being strengthened.

Public awareness of the law has also changed the administrative environment. People are demanding a higher standard of governance. The social interest structure, personal interest appeals and the complex interrelations between social classes may have created some clashes between people of different social interest groups, but has also helped to improve public awareness of the law.

As democracy becomes the crux of law, the pressure of governmental decentralization and internal improvement is increasing and creating new rules for the game.

Increased gov't transparency, supervision

An information society demands transparency in governmental operations. Last year, the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection adopted a uniform management system for its representative offices all over the country. The commission and the Organization Department of the CPC Central Commission dispatched joint inspection teams to increase supervision of provincial and municipal leading groups, especially of the principals of those groups. Liu Chun believes that this helped bring the leadership to get on the right track.

In the same year, a number of rules and directives came out to clarify and define rights and responsibilities of Party and government members, while informant hotlines were created to facilitate public participation.

Accelerated, accurate response to trends

Maintaining social stability is at the center of Chinese policy as the country pursues its reforms. However, the diversification of interests means that reform can at times create conflicts between groups. The government must have the ability to identify and assess these issues, communicate effectively and rapidly, and adjust policies to optimize public support.

The widening wealth and development gaps, both regionally and socially, are drawing louder cries for social justice. These appeals from groups are having a greater impact on society as a whole and are a graphic demonstration of the feasibility and effectiveness of policies.

The government should reexamine and, if necessary, adjust its policies to improve their functionality and pertinence, thus maintaining overall social stability.

(Outlook Weekly translated by Yuan Fang and Li Shen for China.org.cn, March 25, 2005)

Zeng Urges Officials to Improve Governance
Premier Orders Intensified Efforts Against Corruption
CPC Campaigns to Consolidate Governance
Agricultural Reforms Key to Reducing Poverty
China Strives to Promote Transparent Govt
Improved Legislative Work Urged
Gov't Administration Should Be in Line with Law
Premier Calls for Clean Government
Watchdog to Intensify Fight on Corruption
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688