According to the “Blue Book on China’s Social Management,” which the International Institute for Urban Development released on Friday, September 14, 2012, the priority of China’s reform should be to develop five elements that are missing in Chinese society.
First, to develop the missing middle class. “The direction of social and even political reform” should be to reduce the gap between the rich and poor.
Second, to develop the non-government sector of society. Currently without a sector of society that is outside of the government, every reform and innovation has resulted in the expansion of government agencies, which in turn has led to growth in the power of the government. Thus there is no buffer against social unrest.
Third, to develop mechanisms that are missing in the system. Mismanagement is rooted in a lack of appropriate mechanisms, including an effective mechanism that allows people to seek relief from government abuse.
Fourth, to develop the faith that is missing in society. What is prevalent is that people have lost their values, have low or little morality, and lack self-discipline. “When one does not believe in the government, law, faith and moral values, the only thing left in his spiritual pillar is violence. This is the primary root cause of the frequent violence in the current society.”
Fifth, to develop the missing authority. The traditional governance structure is disintegrating and the new one has yet to be established. One innovation needed in social management is to push the government from being a “development-oriented government” to a “service-oriented government.”
Source: China News Service reprinted by People’s Daily, September 14, 2012