The New Social and Economic Order in Twenty-First Century China: Can the Government Bring a Kinder, Gentler Mode of Development?

  • Christine Wong


Entering the twenty-first century, the Chinese government has called for building a “Harmonious Society,” under a new “scientific” development paradigm that emphasizes more balanced, sustainable growth, with development that will “put people first.” Starting with the communiqué of the Sixteenth Party Congress in September 2002, when the new administration of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao commenced, the call was sounded for emphasizing the quality of growth and downplaying the traditional stress on quantitative growth targets. This change was spelled out in more specific terms in Premier Wen Jiabao’s Report to the National People’s Congress on March 5, 2004, when he called for1 • Reorienting China’s development strategy to one that emphasizes balanced, sustainable, and “people-centered” growth;
  • Strengthening social protection;

  • Solving fiscal problems of the rural sector;

  • Curbing corruption and government abuse; and

  • Putting China on a timetable to achieve “xiaokang society” (well-off society).


Local Government Gross Domestic Product Central Government Economic Order Gross Domestic Product Growth 
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© Eva Paus, Penelope B. Prime, and Jon Western 2009

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  • Christine Wong

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