Fairness hot issue on agenda for Party

08:22, October 15, 2010      

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Social equality and justice are likely to be highlighted in proposals for China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), as part of the country's efforts to ease social conflict, a Beijing-based think tank said on Thursday.

"Due to the uneven distribution of income, the fruits of economic growth are not equally shared by the people, which has resulted in growing social conflict and instability," Liu Shanying, a political science researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily.

Liu's remarks came as the country gears up for the Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which is due to be held in Beijing from Oct 15 to 18.

Delegates from across the country will discuss proposals for the country's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) at the session.

"At this year's meeting, the term 'inclusive growth' may be included in the plan as the country's new method of addressing social unfairness during economic transformation," Liu said.

Inclusive growth is a concept created and promoted by economists from the Asian Development Bank in 2007. It was recently used in a speech by President Hu Jintao, which has triggered speculation that Chinese policymakers are refining their perspectives on developmental issues.

According to Hu's speech, inclusive growth means to spread the benefits of economic globalization and development among all countries, regions and people, in order to realize balanced economic and social progress through sustainable development.

"Inclusive growth is a new idea that will help China tackle emerging challenges, which is crucial to the future direction of the country's development," said Zuo Xiaolei, chief economist at China Galaxy Securities.

To implement the concept will require restricting vested interest groups and effective law enforcement, researchers and legislators said.

"Economic growth over the past three decades has been achieved at the cost of an excessive consumption of energy and an unequal distribution of income," Liu said.

The Gini coefficient is a means of gauging disparities in income and wealth. According to a report by the World Bank, the Gini coefficient for China surged to 0.47 in 2009, exceeding the concept's warning line of 0.4. Thirty years ago, the figure was 0.21 - 0.27.

"Vested interest groups have become the biggest obstacle to social reform. The problem of disparities in income, if left unresolved, will lead to social disorder," Liu warned.

Along with social fairness, Liu said issues likely to be addressed at the session also include supervising the exercise of power and making government more transparent.

According to Liu, people's involvement in these areas could be achieved through better enforcement of their rights to expression and speech, as stated in the Constitution.

As the country braces itself for achieving the goal of creating a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, national legislators said the country's legal system remains challenged by abuses of power.

"To improve the legal system, the country needs to focus on law enforcement," Chen Sixi, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, told China Daily.

"Creating the laws to address the problems in the social sector should be advanced as quickly as possible to help tackle the critical problems the country faces," he said.

Source:China Daily


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