Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Re-orientation in China?

Chinese communist party looks back at the economic successes of the past decades:

    Awe-inspiring account book figures give outsiders the impression that we are already one of the rich nations, though dozens of millions of our compatriots still have to struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet. At home, impatient optimists appear certain about our expected transformation into an "intermediately advanced" country by 2050.

    But underneath the misleading cover of GDP figures, we are increasingly dogged by the widening income gap between the rich and poor, as well as the divide between urban and rural areas.

    At the beginning of economic reforms, Deng Xiaoping put forward the ground-breaking guiding principle: "Let some areas and people get rich first," and to "ultimately achieve common prosperity."

    Some areas and people have become rich - so rich that the country has reportedly become one of the most popular destinations for the world's luxury goods. Good or bad, our spendthrift nouveaux riches have earned a reputation worldwide.

    Our new imperative is to prevent society's underdogs from lagging even further behind. If left unattended, income disparities have the potential to derail the country's course of development.

    ... ...

    Economic growth is an indispensable element, and sometimes precondition, of social progress. But it is not the whole of development. Many of our current headaches have their roots in our single-minded pursuit of rapid growth.

[Party shifts focus to social harmony.]


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