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Morality situation improving: report

(Global Times)

08:26, January 04, 2012

The morality situation in China has been improving, according to an article published in Qiushi, the Communist Party of China Central Committee's flagship magazine devoted to policy-making .

The article came at a time when cases including Guo Meimei, who plunged the Red Cross Society of China into a credibility crisis, and Yueyue, a 2-year-old girl who was run over by two vehicles and ignored by 18 passersby, led to discussions of a morality crisis last year.

"The reason for the hesitation in helping strangers is that the Chinese traditional culture of 'social acquaintance' is transforming into a 'strangers' society' culture, while the system of social controls and curbs is weakening," it said.

Besides, it also put forward the "enlarging effect" by the media as a reason.

The article said that although the morality situation is getting better, there are still problems to be tackled due to the severe tests stemming from the Party's rule, reform and opening-up and the market economy that will necessarily be reflected in the field of morality.

Existing moral problems are focused on certain periods, such as the early stages of reform and opening-up and the implementation of a market economy system.

In those periods some officials, businessmen and cultural celebrities, who are vulnerable to corruption of money and power, would fall from grace when their scandals are exposed.

"It is the bad situation in these fields and incidents concerning a few people that brings huge pressure on public morality as well as a bad psychological impact," said the article.

The article also explained the reasons for immoral conduct, such as flaws in the relevant systems.

"The deeper reason for officials' corruption lies in the fact that more power and money transactions happen under the market economy system but the corresponding system of supervision lags behind the change in the situation, the article said.

Experts agreed with the stance of Qiushi by saying that the morality situation is no worse than in the past, and historically, the public has always worried about the morality situation.

Zhang Yiwu, professor and deputy director of the Cultural Resources Research Center of Peking University, told the Global Times that he could give many examples of "poor morality" in the past, such as in the 1980s, citing hospitals' indifference to patients as well as passers-by ignoring people who were injured on the road.

Zhang said that things were broadcast on a smaller scale in the past and the growth of the Internet makes it easy for people to know what happens in every corner of the world, thus deepening the public's impression of immoral conduct.

The media has a two-sided effect on the morality situation, Cai Xia, professor with the Party School of the CPC's Central Committee, told the Global Times.

After the tragedy involving Yueyue, there were several reports of passers-by who actively helped injured victims of accidents, such as Pan Yueyun, a man who rescued a 4-year-old girl hit by a vehicle in Shanghai, she said.

"The heated discussion of a morality crisis and the condemnation of immorality just reflect the public's great desire for a better moral situation," said Cai, adding that as the main part of society, the people's thought represents that of society, therefore it is reasonable to say the moral situation in the country has been improving.

"In the age of moral pluralism, officials' and Party members' positive exemplary roles are needed to guide the public," she said.

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