A survey on "2004-2005 Social Situation Analysis and Prediction" made by China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) shows that China is ushering in what could be its best period in the development of its economy and society in the past more than 10 years. However, seven social problems, including loss of farmland and a widening financial gap between rural and urban areas, are hindering the development of China. High attention needs to be paid to.
According to the latest issue of Outlook Weekly, Li Peilin, research fellow on these problems pointed out China's economic and social resources last year were allocated towards the objective of favorable, sustainable and coordinated development. China is ushering in what could be its best period in the development of its economy and society in the past more than 10 years. Meanwhile, there are some austere social problems. China should paid more attention to some special national conditions that are different from the development experiences of other countries and regions.
Aggravating social contradictions due to loss of farmland
In the process of fast industrialization and urbanization, the loss of farmland has brought a serious problem to the society. Some 40 million farmers have lost their land in the country.
Income gap further widened
According to the sample survey on 50,000 urban residents across the country in 2004, the per capita disposable income was 13,332 yuan for the highest 10 per cent income group, or a 2.8 times higher than national average level while that in the lowest 10 per cent income group was 1,397 yuan, only equivalent to 29 per cent of the national average level. The income proportion between these two groups stood at 9.5:1, or relatively higher than 9.1:1 in 2003. The income gaps between regions, trades and industries also were on the increase.
There is a long-term difficulty in employment
From the view of labor demand and supply, some 24 million urban people need to work. They include the newly increased laborers and the laid-off workers, and there are only 9 million new job opportunities. Therefore, the contradiction of supply over demand in labor force has become very obvious. Apart from that, there is also a new employment problem for university graduates. It is reported that a total of 740,000 university graduates cannot find jobs.
Poverty-relief work still high on the agenda in the new century
The number of people in poverty has dropped from 250 million to 29 million and the poverty rate from 30 per cent to 3 per cent in the past 25 years since adopting the reform and opening policy. However, the current rural absolute poverty standard is below 625 yuan per year for each farmer in China, well below the 900-yuan standard in accordance with the UN international poverty standard. China is now still in the bottleneck stage of poverty reduction.
Anti-corruption drive should be in line with political system reform
The institutions involving discipline inspection, supervision, procuratorial work and audition in China have put a lot of human and material resources into anti-corruption campaign. However, the corruptive cases have still occurred one after another. China must perfect the anti-corruption system.
Sustainable development is seriously hampered by resources, energy and environment
The per capita resources in China are quite low. The low utilization rate with high extravagance in resources and discharge of pollutants far exceeds the capacity of environmental self-purification. The pollution of water and atmosphere in some river valleys and cities is very serious with aggravating ecological destruction and land desertification in some regions.
Attention should be paid to the social and psychological changes in the fast-economic growth period
With high-speed economic growth in China in recent two years, the people in low-income group are more dissatisfied with their life. That is because the basic prices for food have increased in fast-economic growth. The consumption on food that takes up 50 percent to 60 percent of their total expenditure has a direct impact on their satisfactoriness towards life. Meanwhile the increasing gap between the rich and the poor further influences their social altitude and confidence.
By People's Daily Online