Ganbei, China!

12:23, September 30, 2009      

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By Li Hong, People's Daily Online

Balloons and firecrackers will hover above China for the upcoming eight days, as more than 1.3 billion people are celebrating the 60th anniversary of a nation, which was founded by Mao Zedong and the Revolutionaries he led, but lit up to a thundering explosion of ideas and unprecedented economic boom by Deng Xiaoping and his followers.

By all calculations, the world's most populous country has a lot to celebrate and ganbei to the enormous and sizzling changes taking place before our eyes in the past 30 years. And, all overseas dwelled Chinese also would feel proud of the meteoric rise of their motherland. Yes, we are happy, and it's our party time.

But after the eight-day National Day holidays, our journey will continue. For our ordinary nationals, we are going to attend work shifts and home chore, with a hope for a persistingly improving life. For the policy-makers of the country, it has to be more brainstorming for strategies of efficacy and vision to sustain current growth momentum, and to shoot down challenges facing the nation.

What are the challenges? The foremost is maintaining and perfecting the overall policy guideline, or “socialism with Chinese characteristics” in homegrown lexicon, or “China model” in the eyes of enthusiastic China-watchers abroad.

The directive, first put forward by Deng and now carried on by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, is synonymous with “Reform and Opening-up”, without which, China's progress wouldn't have been possible. Emancipation of minds and liberalization of our rigid systems is always necessary.

The year-long world financial crisis and subsequent economic downturn, rooting in American and the developed countries' regulators loosening oversight on bankers who got obsessed with excessive risky taking and profiteering, has now shed more of a light on “China model”. It is quite a fashion to even talk about it.

However, outsiders' esteem for our heavy state involvement in major industrial lines, including banking, telecommunications and energy, should not elate us to beat our chest for more government control in business. Outsize extending of government hands into various industries will backfire, and once again suffocate the businesses to their death.

And, it is strongly recommended that this nation never deviate from the opening-up policy. Close-door will mean our turning back to job-making trade, enlightening ideas, pioneering experiments and pivotal inventions outside of our borders. There remains a ton for us to learn from the developed countries, typically the United States, in managing our business and managing our country. No one would deny that the creation of Internet isn't revolutionary.

Then, keeping an equitable development of the nation's east with its west, and urban towns and rural villages is of paramount importance. Mass protests in the past years by disgruntled farmers whose land was forcibly taken over, and workers whose factories were shut down or merged to big state-owned firms, are a reminder that inequality is enlarging and the country is increasingly polarized.

It would make great sense for the leadership to implement its courageous plan of providing universal coverage of medical care and pensions among the populace, no one left behind. And, more resources will need to be invested in the outlying regions inhabited by ethnic minorities to greatly improve their livelihood, and education of the children there.

And, the ruling Party must be open to new ideas, always adaptable to changes, and answerable to the people. Corruption, if not seriously throttled, could drive the party weaker. And intra-Party democracy, which has been promised by the Party, must be vigorously and promptly put on display before the people.
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