Fri, September 12, 2008
China > Politics

Chinese think tank report warns on relations between public, go't officials

2008-09-12 12:09:18 GMT2008-09-12 20:09:18 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- A report from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the country's leading think tank, warned conflict between the public and government officials had become more obvious in recent years.

Friday's China Youth Daily quoted the report as saying about 69.84 percent of those surveyed by CASS experts thought government officials benefited the most from economic development in the past decade. They were followed by the entertainment stars, entrepreneurs, managers of state-owned enterprises and professionals.

The CASS Institute of Sociology report expressed concern about the list headed by officials as in previous similar surveys entrepreneurs were always at the top.

"On one hand, a government job with stable income and decent welfare showed its advantages in the heated competition of the employment market. On the other hand, corruption and malpractice harmed the public image of officials," it said.

The majority of those surveyed agreed most rich people in the country earned higher income because of "positive reasons," such as hard work, business acumen and higher education. But officials were more often linked to "negative" ways, such as in corruption and stealing public assets, it said.

About 28.26 percent of those surveyed said the public and government officials were the most likely to have conflict, compared with the rich and poor, employers and employees, urban and rural residents, as well as blue-collars and white-collars.

Conflict may come from malpractice such as illegal charging, displacement programs, law enforcement and unemployment policy implementation.

CASS sociologists said in the report the conflict between the public and officials was only one sort of conflict among interest groups in the country.

While 75 percent agreed Chinese society was stable and harmonious, 67.9 percent noticed the conflict among different interest groups.

This was one of the two major challenges to the stability of Chinese society, the report said. The other was social problems such as health care, unemployment, the widening gap between rich and poor and high housing prices.

Through the survey, the sociologists listed the 10 most serious social problems. High expense and a lack of access to medical services topped the list.

"It's very rare in other countries that health care was the most serious social problem," the report said. "Instead of a simple problem about poor medical service, it is related to the country's reform on all public service sectors."

It was the same important and difficult task of reforming state-owned enterprises to develop a sustainable and quality non-profitable service, it said.

The widening income gap was another key issue. The report suggested the administration work to increase rural residents income and urban residents income through home ownership and stocks.

Fighting corruption should be a major measure to regulate distribution of income as the public complained most about people who became rich through illegal means, it added.

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