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Government Scholars Interpret Hu Jintao’s July 1st Speech

[Editor’s Note: Hu Jintao gave a speech on July 1, 2011, at the Conference to Celebrate the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) 90th Anniversary. Outlook Weekly, a publication under Xinhua, published a collection of articles in which government think tankers explained their interpretation of important quotes from Hu’s speech. [1] Their views cover using economic expansion (instead of adjusting income distribution) to solve the income disparity in China, maintaining social stability, and strengthening the party’s leadership. The following are translations of select summaries from these articles.]

Hu: “Currently, the world’s situation, the country’s situation, and the party’s situation are going through profound changes. We have encountered imbalance, a lack of coordination, and unsustainable problems in our development. The systematic mechanism that restricts scientific development is unavoidable and cannot be circumvented. We must resolve these issues via deep reform.”

Xiang Dong, Deputy Director of the Information Study Department of the Research Office of the State Council said, “Most of the easy parts of the reforms that China can carry out have already been done. The next step is the hard battle. There is going to be some cost.” Xiang Dong didn’t provide details on what the hard battle would be.

Hu: “We must adhere to reform of the socialist market economy; improve the reform of scientific decision-making; make a breakthrough in further reform and opening up; identify the focus for deepening reform and opening up; seize the opportunity to push forward reform in key areas and of key components; and continue pushing forward reforms of the economic system, the political system, the cultural system, and the social system.”

Xiang Dong: The most challenging reform is the transformation of (China’s) development model. China’s development faces the problems of lack of effective demand, insufficient resources and energy, an unbearable ecological environment, and a diminishing number of people of working age. The main problem is the growing gap between the rich and the poor. The public has not really enjoyed the benefits of reform and development. In the past, the state and companies have obtained a larger share in wealth distribution. The next step is to let the people get more. We must make the pie bigger. Then we can resolve the income distribution problem.

Hu: “Development is the most important principle; stability is the most important task. Without stability, nothing can be done and even our achievements will be lost. Not only should all Party members keep this reasoning in mind, but they also should lead the entire nation in keeping it in mind.”

Xiang Dong: China’s reform and development must be carried out on the basis of stability. It will be too costly if we first bring chaos to China and then carry out reform. … For the nation with the largest population in the world to implement such a major reform, it for sure must suffer some setbacks and temporary pains. … We must stress reform and development on the foundation of stability. Our problems are historical problems. They can’t be solved in one night. China’s reform must be done gradually rather than through shock therapy. … We must carry out reform in a stable environment.

He Zengke, an expert on social management and Director of the Institute of Contemporary Studies at the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau: Stability is still the most important task. Hu Jintao emphasized the importance of stability. We face severe challenges as a result of specific social problems. If these social problems and social conflicts are not properly handled, society will become dramatically unstable. The level, scope, and intensity of conflict at group events will increase. This may lead to social unrest and disorder. … To maintain social stability, we need consensus from all Party members and also from the entire society.

To better maintain social stability: 1. We should distribute more wealth to the public while continuing our economic development. 2. It is too costly for the government to negotiate with individuals, so the government should create and develop social organizations to funnel individuals’ issues to the government. 3. We must advance reform of the political system within the system’s framework (under the Party’s leadership).

Hu: “We have obtained remarkable, magnificent success, but the fact that our country is in the primary stage of socialism has not changed. The main social conflict between the public’s growing material and cultural demands and our backward productive force has not changed, and the fact that our country is the world largest developing country has not changed.”

Han Baojiang, Deputy Director of Economic Department, the Party School of the Central Committee of the CCP: We need to be cautious about our status and not blindly overjoyed. Let’s not be moved by domestic or overseas opinions, be over-confident, or shift our focus. We should just focus on economic development. As our total economic output keeps increasing, the structural conflicts in economic and social development are getting worse. To solve all these structural problems, economic development is still the key.

Hu: “We must continue to vigorously advance the development of the socialist democratic political system and unswervingly take the path of socialist political development with Chinese characteristics.”

Li Zhenghua, Director and Researcher of Political Studies, Institute of Contemporary China, Chinese Academy of Social Science: The key for Chinese-style democracy is to adhere to the unity of the Party’s leadership, to the people’s being in charge, and to the rule of law. The Party’s leadership is the fundamental guarantee of the people’s being in charge and of the rule of law. The key to handling China’s affairs is the Party.

Hu: “Our Party also has youth with high ideals and passions. This is a key guarantee for our Party to maintain vitality after going through 90 years of thick and thin. Our youth is our nation’s future and our nation’s hope.”

Lu Shizhen, Deputy President of China Youth and Children Research Association and Dean of the Institute of Youth Development Research, China Youth University for Political Science: The youth work is very important. Our youth represent society’s mobility. 52% of the mobile population is in the 14-35 age group (youth). Also our youth lead the social moral standards. To do youth work, the Party should create special administrative offices and organizations to manage youth affairs. The Party also should resolve the issues related to the interests and development of our youth, e.g. focusing on the employment and housing problems that they face.

1., “New Prospects of China’s Reform,” August 15, 2011.