China should view livelihood issues from strategic perspective

16:34, May 11, 2011      

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Livelihood issues are closely related to the vital interests and well being of the people. Success in addressing these issues will help maintain long-term peace and stability and increase the popularity of the ruling party.

A strategy is a long-term plan for resolving major issues, and livelihood issues have a direct bearing on people's well being. Government officials should view livelihood issues from a strategic perspective and then make long-term comprehensive plans to improve people's lives.

Livelihood issues are in fact a reflection of the principal contradiction in China. Despite the remarkable economic and social development since the reform and open door policy was implemented, China is still at the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come.

The principal contradiction in China remains the contradiction between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and the backwardness of social production. The contradiction is the root cause of many housing, medical, transportation, educational, employment and income problems about which the public has complained strongly. The ultimate solution to the principal contradiction is focusing on economic development, adhering to the scientific outlook on development and developing productive forces.

In order to address livelihood issues, the central government should make efforts to meet the growing material and cultural needs of the people through developing the productive forces. However, the development of the productive forces does not ensure success in addressing livelihood issues. For example, problems concerning the relations between capital accumulation and consumption, the creation and distribution of wealth and the market mechanism for the efficient provision of public goods cannot be solved simply through economic development. If the livelihood issues are not effectively solved, it will be impossible to completely resolve the principle contradiction. Overall, livelihood issues are of strategic importance and should be viewed from a strategic perspective.

The people's livelihood is a long-term issue that concerns social harmony and stability as well as lasting national peace and order. The traditional thoughts related to the people's livelihood such as "The people are the foundation of a country. If the foundation is solid, the country is in peace," "The basic principle of administration is to satisfy the needs of the people and improve public livelihood," and "When the people who are the foundation of a country lead ordered lives, the country's regime will be solid; when the people lead disordered lives, the country's regime will be in danger" were popular in China's ancient period. These thoughts show the relationship between the people's livelihood issues and social stability as well as between the rise and decline of a country, and contain the wisdom of governing a country.

According to the ideas of historical materialism, people are the creators of history and the masters of social harmony and stability as well as long-term peace and order of a country. The people’s livelihood is closely associated with the needs of the people that can concentrate the power of the people. The development of China’s public livelihood involving education, employment, housing, medical care and social security has been far below public expectations for years because of the restrictions of subjective and objective factors.

If this situation cannot be changed as soon as possible, it will result in severe social contradictions and even group events, affecting the social harmony and stability. If some long-term livelihood issues cannot be addressed properly, they will become hidden hazards threatening the country's lasting peace and order. China is a socialist country and enjoys great conditions to address the livelihood issue. China is also a developing country and faces unprecedented tough livelihood issues. This determines that China must address the livelihood issues from a strategic perspective that concern the country's long-term peace and order.

The people's livelihood issue is a fundamental problem related to the purpose of the Party and consolidating the Party's ruling status. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the leading core of establishing socialism with Chinese characteristics and consolidating the Party's ruling status is a necessary requirement of realizing the socialist modernization and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Party's ruling status is not once-and-for-all and static.

What we had in the past is not what we have now and what we have now is not what we will have forever. As comrade Deng Xiaoping once said, "Fundamentally speaking, the lack of economic growth, the lack of food and clothes, wage growth offset by inflation, the falling living standards and the long-term austere life caused problems in some countries." We can say that whether the people's livelihood issue is well solved determines if the Party can get popular support and if the Party's ruling status is stable enough.

Practices have proven that the Party will always get support from the masses and effectively take on the historic mission entrusted by the state and the nation if it can adhere to serve the public and work for the public, put the people first and realize, safeguard and develop the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people to achieve a government that functions by the mandate of the people, empathizes with the feelings of the people and works for the wellbeing of the people. This is a fundamental problem related to the future and destiny of the Chinese nation. Therefore, we must give it serious consideration from a strategic perspective.

By People's Daily reporter Pang Yuanzheng. Translated by People's Daily Online
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