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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 14:41, August 27, 2004
Story about Deng Xiaoping's practice of economy: Commentary
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Ordinary people in old revolutionary liberated areas in southern Jiangxi Province to date still clearly remember many moving stories about Comrade Deng Xiaoping's strict enforcement of economy and his hardworking.

When he served as secretary of Ruijin and Huichang county Party committee, fighting and living conditions were extremely hard. Deng Xiaoping took the lead in initiating the movement of practice of economy, proposing for "economizing on the use of every copper coin to support revolutionary wars", forming among the masses of people a strong atmosphere in which "everybody saves a handful of rice each day to support the Red Army".

Deng had a towel still in good condition after use for several years, whereas similar towels of others became worn-out after use for a period of time. When asked about his secrets in keeping the towel so well, he said, "When you wash your faces you twist the towels hard with both hands, in this way the fibers of the towel easily break; when I wash my face I just wring out the water, the fibers of the towel of course will not easily break, thus making the towel durable!" His better-quality serge trousers had been used for several years, so the trouser legs had been worn-out.

When the "First Soviet Meeting" was held, he went to attend the opening ceremony with the same trousers on. The personnel around him felt it was not decent to wear such trousers to attend such a solemn occasion, they proposed buying a piece of cloth to make a pair of new trousers for him. He firmly refused, saying, "In dressing we Communists do not seek decent and nice clothes, but rather we pay attention to neat and clean clothes, it does not matter much if the clothes are somewhat worn!"

Rigorous enforcement of economy was the lifelong fine style of Comrade Deng Xiaoping. He did so during the extremely hard and bitter war years, and he kept this style during the materially abundant construction period.

Deng repeatedly stressed, "In order to put the nation's finance on a stable base and guarantee socialist industrial construction, we must save and reduce all expenditures that can be done so, and overcome any waste." He particularly pointed out: In practicing economy we should guard against bureaucracy and formalism, "Problems of today are very complicated, it won't do for us to act by relying merely on several statutes, decrees or methods, we should act according to local conditions." "The practice of economy requires enthusiasm, if local enthusiasm is lacking, it is impossible to practice economy, and waste will occur."

Today, it is of high reality to review the moving deeds and earnest instructions of Comrade Deng Xiaoping on the practice of economy. The current resources of our country are much better than what they were during the war years and before Deng's initiation of the reform and opening up project, however, although our country is like a big household with lots of resources, the aggregate, however big it is, appears to be not so abundant when it is divided up among the 1.3 billion people, and is even in shortage. Energy sources, raw and semi-processed materials, water, land and other natural resources are the foundation on which humanity depends for subsistence and development, and are important material guarantees for the sustainable development of economy and society. And the per-capita share of China's cultivated land, freshwater, forest, petroleum, natural gas and other resources respectively account for only one-third, one-fourth, one-fifth, one-10th and one-22nd of the average world level.

At present, resources are in short supply, some regions have even successively suffered the shortages of coal, electric power and oil, giving rise to the scarcity of coal, electricity, oil and transportation service, which has become a major restrictive factor hindering our economic and social development and the realization of the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round manner. The strict practice of economy requires the mobilization of the enthusiasm of the whole society and the cultivation of a sense of urgency for the practice of economy and the awareness of the deficiency of resources.

At the forum on the central population resources environmental work held on March 10, Comrade Hu Jintao emphasized the need to persistently use a scientific development concept to guide the population resources environmental work, and establish a resources-saving national economic system and a resources-saving society.

Afterwards, the State Council (China's cabinet) worked out a plan, calling for the launch of resources-saving activities nationwide in three years. However, a look at real life shows that on the one hand, China's per-person resources are in extreme deficiency, on the other hand, some people are wasteful and squandering unrestrainedly--such phenomena as lamps being turned on day and night, water flowing endlessly, air conditioners working all the time, and public cars used frequently for private purposes can be seen everywhere. As the saying goes, "In taking a mouthful of congee or rice you should bear in mind that its production is not easy"; so in using even half silk and half thread, one should always think of difficulty in getting material resources". The establishment of a resources-saving society is imminent.

By People's Daily Online

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