New "common wealth" policy drawing wide support 03-09-2004 18:42

With the new generation of Chinese leadership taking office a year ago, a substantive change has occurred in the government's development policy which targets at "common wealth" for all.

The essence of the policy, a scientific approach to development and putting people first, finds expressions in both a communique of the Communist Party of China Central Committee issued in October 2003 and the government work report of Premier Wen Jiabao made on Mar.5, 2004.

The philosophy of "common wealth" is a "major step forward in China's history" some 20 years after late leader Deng Xiaoping advocated for "letting a group of the people get rich first and finally realize common prosperity," said Hu Angang, a noted economist.

Deng's theory helped to do away with the equalitarianism in the country's long-standing distribution system and kicked start a sustained rapid economic growth at an average annual rate of around 10 percent for over two decades.

However, problems arising with the economic takeoff, such as enlarging disparities between the urban and rural areas, between different regions and between people in terms of income, cannot be ignored.

According to official estimation, the gap between the most affluent province in east China and the poorest province in the west grows as wide as more than ten folds and the urban residents in the eastern province earn three times more than their peers in the western province.

The promulgation of the new policy that aims at an overall, coordinated and sustainable development and promotion for the comprehensive economic, social and human development indicates a major readjustment when China enters a new stage of economic and social development, said Song Xingguo, a lawmaker representing the banking sector.

It also shows that the central government has paid close attention to the potential risks of imbalanced growth behind the unprecedented prosperity of the country, said Li Shantong, a member of the national advisory body -- the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Hu Angang said "common wealth" does not imply "equal wealth" for all, nor a stop or reversal to the development of the areas and people that have led others in getting rich.

What the new policy pursues is precisely to create opportunities whereby all the people pitch in development together, improve the capacity to develop together, promote development together and share the fruits of development together, he said.

"This is the political guarantee for long-term social stability in China, " he added.

Editor:Wang  Source:Xinhua News Agency

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