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2008年12月20日 (土)

中国開放30年―待ったなしの政治改革

2008/12/20

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 19(IHT/Asahi: December 20,2008)

EDITORIAL: China's economic reform

中国開放30年―待ったなしの政治改革

The Communist Party of China, during a Central Committee plenary session Dec. 18-22, 1978, started a campaign to reform and open up the nation's economy.

 中国共産党が改革開放政策にかじを切ったのは、78年12月18日から22日に開いた第11期中央委員会第3回全体会議(3中全会)でのことだった。 

In the 30 years since then, China's gross domestic product has grown nearly seventyfold, and the country is on track this year to surpass Germany as the world's third-largest economy.

 それから30年。国内総生産(GDP)は70倍近くに増え、今年はドイツを抜いて世界3位になるのが確実だ。 

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday extolled the nation's economic progress during a ceremony held in the Great Hall of People to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of the reform. China "has used the reform and opening up as a powerful driving force to push through various undertakings and accomplished great achievements that claim the attention of the world," he said in his speech.

 「改革開放を強大な原動力として、様々な事業を推し進め、世界が注目する偉大な成果をあげた」 

 胡錦濤国家主席は18日、北京の人民大会堂での30周年記念大会で胸をはった。

This year's Beijing Summer Olympics, described as "a 100-year dream of the Chinese people," would not have taken place without the country's amazing economic growth.

「中華民族100年の夢」とされた北京五輪も、経済成長抜きではかなわなかったに違いない。

The Chinese media are also advertising the fruits of the 30 years of reform to audiences both at home and abroad.

中国メディアも30年の成果を内外にアピールする。 

The current economic situation, however, gives the nation little reason to be in a festive mood. The financial crisis that started in the United States is now threatening the well-being of China's 1.3 billion people.

 だが、現実はお祭りムードに浸っている余裕はない。米国に端を発した金融危機の津波が13億人の足元を脅かしているからだ。 

China's exports fell 2.2 percent in November from a year earlier, the first drop since the country joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. China's imports of materials and machinery also plunged during that month, raising concerns of a major downturn in future exports.

 輸出は11月、前年同月比で2.2%減った。01年に世界貿易機関(WTO)に加盟してから初めてのことだ。素材や機械の輸入も大幅に減り、将来の輸出減につながりかねない。 

In Guangdong and other provinces that have been on the leading edge of the country's economic reform, export-oriented companies are collapsing. A growing number of rural migrants working in large cities are losing their jobs and returning home, stoking fears about social unrest.

 改革開放の最先端を歩んできた広東省などでは輸出企業の閉鎖が相次ぐ。失業した出稼ぎ農民が帰郷を迫られ、社会不安の種が広がっている。 

The Chinese government has not been idle in the face of the deteriorating economic picture.

 その状況に、中国当局も手をこまぬいているわけではない。

Last month, the government announced a package of economic stimulus measures worth more than 54 trillion yen. At the annual Central Economic Work Conference early this month, officials reaffirmed the need for aggressive fiscal and monetary efforts to maintain economic growth by increasing domestic demand.

 54兆円を超える景気刺激策を先月、発表した。今月上旬に開かれた中央経済工作会議では、積極的な財政政策と金融緩和策をとり、内需拡大によって成長を保つことを確認している。 

This is the right response to the global economic downturn. Expanding domestic demand is also crucial for tackling the broad array of challenges confronting China, such as low productivity, environmental destruction and the miserable living standards of poverty-stricken farmers.

 世界同時不況のさなか、その判断は適切だろう。低い生産性や自然の荒廃、貧困に苦しむ農民の暮らしの向上のためにも内需の拡大が欠かせない。 

The international community hopes that China leads the world out of the recession as it has a great growth potential that can vastly improve Chinese living standards.

 国際社会もまた中国の国民生活の底上げによる成長の潜在力に、世界不況脱出の先導役を期待している。 

The question is whether the government can smoothly implement proposed measures. There are legitimate concerns that the growth-oriented economic policy will lead to more wasteful investments, environmental destruction and corruption concerning public works projects.

 問題は方針を円滑に実行できるかだ。成長優先策が、むだな投資や環境破壊、事業をめぐる汚職を広げる恐れがある。

In addition, China has yet to establish an effective system for the fair distribution of wealth among the people.

成長の恩恵が広く国民におよぶような公平な分配システムもまだ確立されていない。 

These problems can be explained by the fact that the reform has been carried out under the single-party rule by the Communists, who have not adequately responded to the views and opinions of a wide range of people.

 それもこれも、一党主導で改革開放が進められ、必ずしも幅広い民意をくんできたわけではないからだ。 

On Dec. 10, which marked the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a group of intellectuals and other critics of China's Communist rule published "Charter 08," a public appeal for democracy and human rights in the country, on the Internet.

Among the demands in the document was an end to the one-party rule. A growing number of prominent writers and human rights activists in and outside China are signing the document.

 そんな現状を憂慮した知識人らが世界人権宣言採択60周年にあたる12月10日、一党独裁の放棄などを求めた「2008年憲章」をネット上で発表した。著名な作家や人権活動家らの署名が内外に広がっている。 

Political reform is also vital in the Hu administration's efforts to create a "harmonious society." At the ceremony Thursday, Hu said that the reform-and-open program represents the third great revolution in China, following the Xinhai Revolution of 1911-1912, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, and the socialist revolution.

 胡錦濤体制が目指す、調和のとれた「和諧(わかい)社会」を実現するためにも、政治面での改革はなくてはならない。 

 「改革開放は、辛亥革命、社会主義革命に続く第三の偉大な革命だ」。胡氏は30周年記念大会でこう訴えた。

But the revolution will never be complete without significant progress in political reform.

しかし、政治改革で成果がなければ、革命いまだ成らずである。

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