One of the most revolutionary breakthroughs in the Communist Party of China's (CPC) governance philosophy has been the rediscovery of man. Every major policy initiative is now given a humane touch.
In expounding Scientific Outlook on Development, centerpiece of the CPC leadership's latest theoretical inventions, General Secretary Hu Jintao accentuated "people first" as the guiding principle for development. The fruit of development should be shared by the people, Hu said.
In per capita terms, China still ranks quite low on the international ladder of human development. Most of the country's proud records set in the past three decades will be reduced to amazingly low levels once divided by its 1.3 billion population. The per capita indexes are grim reminders that we are still a developing country, no matter how outsiders deny it.
Shortage is no longer the universal truth it used to be here. But as Hu's report observed, income gaps and imbalance between regions have emerged as a new challenge we must face. The report declared an ambitious goal to basically eliminate abject poverty, and turn the society into one where middle-income households are the majority by 2020.
To achieve that entails more than hauling out those in abject poverty. The manner of distribution will have to be reshuffled, so that wealth is shared in a fair and just manner.
We appreciate the idea to accelerate social undertakings oriented at improving people's livelihood. The country now boasts the largest pool of foreign exchange reserves the world over. Our state coffers have been gaining weight all the time, as tax revenues continue to climb to new highs. The government is more capable than ever to finance public welfare.
Hu's report delved in considerable detail in its discussion of public undertakings. Which we hope will all materialize in real life.
Quality and affordable education is not only a basic public good the government is obliged to provide to all without discrimination. Its financial commitment to education is essential for society's long-term demand for skillful workers.
Inclusive medical insurance and social security systems, whose establishment requires redoubled monetary backup as well as coordination work on the government's part, are also of paramount significance in advancing public well-being.
(China Daily October 19, 2007)