Root cause of social conflicts

Updated: 2013-11-11 07:31

By From the Chinese Press (China Daily)

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China's current social contradictions originate from an uncoordinated interest structure, in which the economic, social, political, and cultural interests of the public have yet been properly met. Therefore, it is a pressing task for the Chinese government to establish a primary livelihood security system for people's basic livelihoods, says an article in Study Times. Excerpts:

Needless to say, as well as the prominent social contradictions, China remains in an important period of strategic opportunities as well. Reviewing the causes of some major social contradictions in China today, we will find that the majority is caused by the income gap between rich and poor.

Labor disputes are mainly rooted in workers' strong dissatisfaction with unreasonable wages and poor working conditions and their demands for better treatment, and there are growing calls from disadvantaged groups for basic social security and more equitable income distribution.

The contradiction between government officials and the people is mainly rooted in the advantageous welfare enjoyed by officials, and migrant workers seeking equal access to the public services enjoyed by urban residents. There are forced land acquisitions and relocations without reasonable compensation for farmers.

President Xi Jinping has said, "our people love life and yearn for better education, stable jobs, more satisfactory incomes, greater social security, improved medical and healthcare, and a more beautiful environment; and people's desire for a better life is what we shall fight for".

However, for various reasons, China's social development lags behind its fast economic growth. As former president Hu Jintao pointed out at the 18th CPC National Congress, there are many problems affecting people's immediate interests in education, employment, social security, healthcare, housing, the environment, food and drug safety, workplace safety, public security, law enforcement, administration of justice, and some people still lead hard lives. A considerable number of people still have difficulties in paying for medical treatment, buying a house or paying for their children's education.

Livelihood issues are of great significance for every member of society and every family. For each member of society and every family, as long as they can obtain the most basic security, they can be free from worries and can integrate into society with dignity and participate in various social affairs on an equal footing. Therefore, what concerns ordinary people most is obtaining a basic guarantee for their livelihoods. Without this, those struggling at the bottom of society will lose confidence in the promise of a brighter future.

Improved livelihoods are still the most fundamental and common demand of Chinese people. Therefore, improving people's well-being is the key task for the government and the Party, and if it is not handled properly it will exacerbate China's current social contradictions and thus affect the smooth operation and harmony of society.

The Party and the government will win more recognition and support if they make unremitting efforts to improve people's livelihoods, which will help eliminate social contradictions, stabilize society, and lay a solid foundation for further reform.

However, the authorities have a lot to do to improve people's livelihoods and thus effectively narrow the wealth gap. Among them, establishing a primary security system is the most urgent task at this stage. Only in this way can we ensure a harmonious society based on the security of people's livelihoods. The basic aims of such a primary system should be to achieve the objectives and tasks proposed by the 18th Party Congress, namely ensuring that all Chinese people enjoy their rights to education, employment, health and old-age care and housing.

The characteristics of this system will be its low level, wide coverage and utility. Backed by China's actual financial strength, the government is fully capable of establishing a social security system and the question is whether it is determined to do so. As long as the authorities press ahead, a primary livelihood security system will be successfully set up. Once established, it will greatly help to eliminate social contradictions and provide an important guarantee of social stability.

(China Daily 11/11/2013 page9)