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Down-to-earth road map for reform in China

The need for political reform in China is becoming more urgent as social discontent mounts. A tall tower needs to be built from the ground, as the Chinese saying goes. Professor Yu Jianrong of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has very timely provided a 10 year, down-to-earth road map for China's social and political development.

Phase one of Yu's road map, from October this year to the end of 2015, advocates ground-breaking changes. First, people's livelihood. Rural land rights should be legally recognised; welfare provisions for lower-income groups expanded; and the hukou (household registration) system, that discriminates against migrant workers, reformed.

Yu secondly advocates for improved judicial checks and balances. Yu's third point focuses on press freedom and freedom of expression, including for example administrative transparency and prohibition of punishment for expression. Fourth, Yu advocates for social development and a strengthening of the civil society, including the improvement of neighbourhood management, promotion of charitable bodies, and protection of religious organisations.

In Phase Two, from 2016 to September 2022, Yu proposes reform of the county-level government and creating an open society. This would include opening up elections for county-level congresses, introducing competitive elections for the top county leader, and setting laws for press freedom and for political parties.

Source: South China Morning Post
Published: 7 December 2012

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