Opinion | Editorials

China must act with conviction

New leadership faces a painful trade-off between political power and economic and social prosperity

  • Gulf News
  • Published: 20:00 November 16, 2012
  • Gulf News

China’s newly-selected Communist party leadership knows what needs to be done to ensure continued economic and social development of the country.

The new secretary-general of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, and other members of its standing committee, have made it clear that corruption, unnecessary bureaucracy and social unrest in the country must be tackled to ensure its stability. Others have highlighted environmental degradation, a lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights, as well as growing social inequality as threats to China’s future.

The question is whether the party and its leadership will have the courage of their convictions and undertake the necessary widespread reforms that will inevitably undermine their grip on political — and ultimately economic — power in what is now the world’s second largest economy.

Despite the rhetoric of reform and the sacking of a seemingly corrupt, high-profile party official, Bo Xilai — in a move that is perceived to be as much political as judicial — there have been few reports to indicate that the party has a coherent programme that will lead to a more open, equal and democratic country. This is essential if China is to maintain the high economic growth rate it needs to reduce poverty and social instability. The global economy continues to struggle with the fallout from the financial crisis, shrinking markets for Chinese exports and reduction in the flow of direct foreign investment. The only alternative for China is to get its massive population to spend and invest in the country. But, without greater social security and accountability for their political masters, people of China are accumulating their savings and moving it out of the country — much to the detriment of its economy. China’s leaders face a painful trade-off between political power and economic and social prosperity. The global economy is dependent on China as a manufacturing hub and market for commodities and services. It is hoped that China’s new leaders will make the right choices for all.

Gulf News

Opinion Editor's choice
  • OPN_140915 Teacher
    Evolution of teaching in fast-changing world

    What is needed is a paradigm shift among teachers and educators that this globalised, digitally connected 
and fluid world needs new minds. Teaching must change to adapt to the new realities

  • OPN_140915 India PM Modi to US
    A big moment ahead for US-India ties

    Modi has made no secret of his desire to make a new place for India in the world’s imagination so it is essential Obama contemplates India without the shadow of US interests in Pakistan and China

  •  Senkaku
    China’s patient assault on the global order

    No one believes that Japan, US and their other Asian allies have formulated a workable strategy for responding to Beijing’s ambitions

Technology vs humanity

Is technology not a match for mans cunning?

Quick Links

  1. Business

  2. Sport

  3. The latest Entertainment news

  4. The latest Lifestyle stories

  5. Blogs

  6. Opinion

In Opinion

  1. Meet Our Writers

  2. Columnists

  3. Editorials

  4. Off the Cuff

  5. Your say

  6. Speak Your Mind

Latest Columns

  1. Is it a dawn of a peace deal after Gaza war?

  2. Africa’s daunting challenge

  3. UK needs unity, not a messy break-up

  4. Afghan election and the final showdown

  5. The man who would be king

  6. Dubai is good case for a progressive Iraq