Tuhao debate sparks calls for good citizenship

Updated: 2013-10-21 17:58


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A new term — "tuhao" — has been coined to describe a growing section of China's population that have accumulated material wealth but remain poor in terms of taste and education. The term has been gaining in popularity on the Internet, as the debate continues over the nation's newly wealthy.

China has a complicated mix of feelings toward its new rich, reflecting the nation's urgent need for real citizenship, says an article in the China Business News (excepts below):

Many people look down on the new rich. However, at the bottom of their hearts, they also desire to lead the same stupid, wealthy lives as the "tuhao" they deride.

The poor people's hatred of the rich is as deep as their longing to lead a similarly wealthy life, at least in terms of material wealth.

Some newly rich people set bad examples in showing off their wealth, paying little attention to improving themselves and their spiritual wealth through education or good behavior.

Thus, the focus of the debate on "tuhao" revolves mainly around the issue of wealth, instead of the real citizenship that Chinese society mostly lacks today.

The government should figure out effective means to fill the widening income gap and force the rich to undertake legal obligations proportional to their wealth.

As for the people getting rich through illegal means, the legal authorities must take action to bring them to justice and instill in society the belief that money must be made legally.

Modern citizenship requires the wealthy to fulfill their responsibilities to the public and become the backbone of a burgeoning middle-class, who will play a bigger role in China's public life.