Sat, Oct 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Disharmony is rife throughout China, political experts say

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

While China's ruling Communist Party (CCP) pledged to establish harmony during its 5th Plenum of the 16th Central Committee, political experts said yesterday that many disharmonious phenomena exist within both the Chinese government and society.

A group of political experts presented their analyses of China's development after the plenum at a forum held by the Foundation on International and Cross-Strait Studies in Taipei.

The CCP wrapped up the four-day plenum on Tuesday by approving its "11th Five-Year Plan," aimed at redirecting policy from growth for growth's sake to a more sustainable model that better addresses social inequities which are reflected in the widening gap between rich and poor and could threaten social stability.

"The inequity problem is very difficult to overcome for the Chinese authority," said Liu Da-nien (劉大年), a research fellow at the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research.

Liu said that the gap between rich and poor in China has been widening in recent years even though Beijing has tried hard to step up development in the mostly rural west of the country.

A lack of infrastructure construction in coastal areas and the risk of a shortage of industrial resources complicate Beijing's economic outlook, as foreign investors might be hesitant to put their money into China considering these variables, Liu said.

From the political point of view, Tung Li-wen (董立文), the director of the Democratic Progressive Party's department of Chinese affairs, said that relations between political leaders in the Chinese government are not as stable as they appear on the surface.

"The so called `Hu-Wen regime' should be replaced by `Hu-Zeng regime,' Tung said, referring to Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) and Vice President Zeng Qinghong (曾慶紅).

Wen is responsible for overseeing China's economic policy, such as its macro-control policy and the implementation of measures to increase farmers' income, and he was harshly criticized by Zeng during the plenum, Liu said.

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