CAS: Chinese Modernization Faces 6 Major Challenges

The "Report on Chinese Sustainable Development Strategy of 2001" recently released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), set forth six essential challenges that would seriously crimp China's future development, which are listed as follows:

1. Pressure from the gross population, the employment and the aging population, which poses great challenges to a series of problems like food security, employment opportunities and the social security system.

2. Unconventional use of energy and natural resources. To reverse this situation, necessary measures are required to be taken during the period from now through to 2050. These include: achieving a zero growth in the consumption rate of resources and energy, a dynamic balance of land resources, and a balance between lumbering and forestation, maintaining a constant quantity in the consumption of water resources, energy and minerals and reducing the proportion of coal in the energy structure from three quarters to less than 50 percent.

3. Quickly reversing the eco-environment Kuznets "inverted U-shaped curve" from the left side to the right side , so as to bring about an overall improvement in the ecological environment.

4. Puzzling problems arising from implementation of the urbanization strategy. The urbanization level of a country is an indication of its modernization. China's urbanization rate must be raised from the current 30 percent to 70 percent by 2050. This implies that only when there is an average annual 1 percent increase in the urbanization rate, can the modernization demand be met. Calculated on this basis, over 10 million rural populace will be turned into urbanites annually, this will brought tremendous pressure on the entire society.

5. Keeping balance of regional development and gradually achieving common prosperity. One of the basic contents of national modernization is to realize social justice. To achieve regional balanced development and common prosperity, China will be confronted with an important task requiring long-term and unremitting efforts.

6. State informationization and cultivation of international competition power. The state's informationization level is another basic indication of overall national strength and international competition power. It is a serious task to rapidly boost the nation's informationization degree as China's present level in this regard is only 2 percent of that of developed countries.

By PD Online Staff member Deng Gang

People's Daily Online ---