17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
Chinese Leader Hu Jintao Proposes Scientific Therapy to Unleash Vitality of Socialism

Chinese leader Hu Jintao on Monday proposed a scientific therapy to unleash the vitality of socialism which underscores gradually broadened and deepened reforms to ensure parallel economic prosperity and social harmony.

Charting out the country's development contour in the next few years, Hu called in a keynote speech to delegates of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to thoroughly implement the scientific outlook on development to accomplish the ruling party's mission of building a moderately prosperous society.

Hu told more than 2,200 delegates to the 17th CPC National Congress that as part of the theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the scientific outlook on development stands along with Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thoughts of "Three Represents" raised by former Party and state leader Jiang Zemin, two banners the CPC holds high in its course of reform and opening.

Emphasizing the ideological continuity of the Party, Hu, who delivered the political report on behalf of the 16th CPC Central Committee, described the Chinese socialism theories as an open system that keeps developing.

Guided by this outlook, the Party takes the country's development as its top priority but at the same time underlines sustainability that features ecology, environment and resources conservation.

Hu defined a "moderately prosperous society" as one measured by a larger per capita share of consumption to GDP, improved primary-level democracy, growth of the cultural industry, lifelong education put into place basically, social security available to both urban and rural residents, a reasonable and orderly pattern of income distribution and a conservation culture that promotes energy- and resource-efficient production and consumption.

\Stephen Roach, Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia who has been watching China for years, said the new outlook would "put teeth into" China's ongoing shift from focusing on the quantity to the quality of economic growth and "usher in a much more sustainable era of economic growth".

"To the extent that China's ideological anchor leads to a successful implementation of scientific development that then successfully shifts the focus of its growth experience from quantity to quality, I certainly applaud it," he said.


As China has emerged into the world's fourth largest economy, the biggest trade power and the largest foreign exchange reserve possessor, observers say many of China's domestic issues have somewhat turned global. The proper resolving of these problems not only benefits China but also the world at large.

Hu underlined a slew of problems that challenge China in the report, including a growing urban-rural and interregional wealth gap, insufficient efforts to improve democracy and legal system and laggard political restructuring which needs to be deepened.

As part of the efforts to promote democracy and deepen political reform, the ruling party will promote more non-communists to leading governmental posts, Hu promised in the report.

Two non-communists were promoted to ministerial positions this year, namely Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, and Chen Zhu, minister of health.

Both urban and rural areas would gradually adopt the same ratio of deputies to the represented population in the election of deputies to the people's congresses, the country's legislative mechanism, to waken farmers' enthusiasm and offer them more opportunities to participate in political affairs, Hu said.

Arbitrary decision-making and authoritarianism by either individuals or a minority of people are also to be checked, Hu said.

Delegate Fu Xiaoqiu from northeast Heilongjiang Province said these measures are a sign of "accelerated democratic reform".

Fu said she is confident that the measures will inspire the zeal of the public in socialist building.

"I think the Party wants the people to feel like the master of the country, assuming their duties and exercising their rights," she said.

The proposed taxation system in the report is believed to be able to help cool down local governments' enthusiasm in seeking economic growth at the cost of environment, some delegates said.

As the current taxation system moves nearly 30 percent of national revenue from local governments to state coffers, some financially constrained local governments still stick to growth-first mentality and brush aside the central authorities' orders to rein in land use and protect environment.

Thus there have been calls for fiscal system reform to help accomplish the country's goal of reducing energy consumption and curb land use violations.

Although detailed measures are to be released, delegate Xie Xuren, who doubles as Finance Minister, said the proposed reform is "to make county and township governments wealthy enough to fulfill their obligations entrusted by the central government."

As the world is undergoing extensive and profound changes, China will face more unprecedented challenges than opportunities in its process of reform, Hu acknowledged in the report.

Since the 16th CPC National Congress five years ago, the Party's leadership has been confronted with a string of emergency events from the SARS epidemic, product safety crisis, rocketing trade surplus that has incurred pressure from its trade partners to global warming, an issue the world's other large economies are expecting for more efforts from China to address.

In the words of Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley Asia, the Chinese leadership must learn to address the woes.

"Globalization is a two-way street. For China, modern globalization's success story means understanding not only the way it is affected by trends in the broader global economy but also the way in which it impacts developments in the rest of the world," said Roach.

( www.xinhuanet.com)



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