“Environmental pollution is a necessary stage of economic development,” says the man with a paper labeled “scientific development concept” in his pocket. (cartoon from Xiang Chun / Southern Weekly)

the current

official guiding socio-economic ideology of the Communist Party of China incorporating sustainable development, social welfare, a humanistic society, increased democracy, and, ultimately, the creation of a Harmonious Society – not “communist society” but “harmonious society”, and not “scientific communism” but “scientific development concept”

Such a scientific approach is said to minimize conflict amongst different interest groups in society in order to maintain stability on the national level, in turn fostering economic and cultural advancement – “minimizing” class conflict

Credit for the theory is given to current Chinese leader Hu Jintao and his administration, who took power in 2002. It is the newest brand added to the idea of Socialism with Chinese characteristics ratified into the Communist Party of China's constitution at the 17th Party Congress in October 2007. It is lauded by the Chinese government as a successor and extension ideology to Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the Three Represents.


In his speech, Premier Wen Jiabao promised to spend 10.9 billion yuan ($US1.3 billion) on the "re-employment" of millions of laid-off workers and another 3 billion yuan to improve industrial safety, especially in the country’s coal mines. He pledged to abolish the central government’s agricultural tax on 730 million farmers and provide education subsidies for poor rural children.

Wen specifically referred to the 140 million rural migrant workers who form the backbone of China’s cheap labour force. “A mechanism will be promptly set up to ensure migrant workers in cities get paid on time and in full, and the work of getting their back wages paid to them will be continued,” he said. Official estimates put the backlog of unpaid wages as high as $US12 billion.

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