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On Road to a Balanced Society

Feb 25, 2011

China has to take measures to raise its social management to the level of its economic and political development

China has seen rapid economic development and political stability over the past three decades, but with them have come a variety of social contradictions. Compared to China's fast and profound economic and social changes, its social management system has been tardy, and that among other things, is the leading cause of the social problems.

The profound changes that have taken place in China's long-established social structure call for suitable innovations in its social management system. The ever-deepening reform and opening-up, together with the continuous development of the socialist market economy, has accelerated China's development into a diversified society – in economic composition, organization and employment, and in the pattern of interests and income distribution. These changes have created huge challenges for the country's existing social management system.

The country has taken giant strides toward economic and social development. This has expedited its transformation from the previous class structure of workers, farmers, cadres and intellectuals to a more complicated one that comprises more classes and groups. To find the best way to handle and coordinate the interests of all classes and groups in today's changed and pluralistic society and form a vigorous and harmonious social order remains the top priority for the country's social managers.

The high rate of urbanization has prompted an increasing number of farmers to move from rural to urban areas. This too poses a major challenge to the government, which has to decide whether such a big army of rural laborers can be integrated into an alien urban neighborhood where they work and live.

Li Peilin is director of the Institute of Sociology, affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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