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2013年11月17日 (日)

中国3中総会 力による社会安定図る習政権

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 16, 2013
Xi adopts strong-arm approach to securing social stability
中国3中総会 力による社会安定図る習政権(11月15日付・読売社説)

Economic reforms approved at the latest Central Committee plenary meeting of the Chinese Communist Party could ultimately fall short of expectations both inside and outside the country.

The meeting was the third of its kind held by the Chinese administration of President Xi Jingping since the 18th Central Committee was established at the party’s convention a year ago. Unlike the first and second Central Committee meetings that highlighted leadership personnel matters, the third put forth basic policies of the Xi administration.

Regarding the focus of economic reforms, the statement issued after the plenary meeting asserted that “market principles will play a decisive role” and stressed such steps as accelerating construction of free trade zones where restrictions on foreign companies will be eased.

A glance at the statement shows that the agreement made at the meeting was in line with Premier Li Keqiang’s economic policies aimed at breaking away from attaining growth through unprincipled investments primarily by the public sector.

Concerning state-owned firms that have monopolized such sectors as energy, information and communications, the statement, however, clearly stated that they will continue to “play a leading role.”

This is apparently inconsistent with an economic reform policy line that attaches importance to market principles, as state-owned businesses are integrated with party organizations. The Central Committee was therefore presumably forced to make a compromise, as it could not break through the thick walls of sectors with vested interests.

The Chinese economy is not expected to achieve stable growth without drastic reforms. At the same time, the economy cannot heed the call of the international community for free competition.

Price of ‘public order’

It is notable that the statement stressed the importance of maintaining public order, saying, “The point of paramount importance is to maintain party leadership.” This makes us further concerned about the suppression of democratization movements, as well as activities to support human rights and freedom of speech.

A state security committee to be established in China is expected to serve as a control tower to deal with terrorist attacks and riots through the joint efforts of the party, the government, the military and others. With the National Security Council of the United States in mind, China possibly intends to have the envisaged committee involved in making diplomatic policy decisions.

There are fears China will bolster its saber-rattling actions in such areas as around the Senkaku Islands, as it tries to pander to anti-Japan protests and divert the people’s discontent against the government. Vigilance must be maintained regarding the moves of the envisaged Chinese organization.

About 180,000 mass protests are said to be staged in China annually due to public anger over the gap between the wealthy and poor. Violent incidents took place prior to the Central Committee’s plenary meeting, including one in which a car crashed and was set on fire in front of the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing and another in which a series of bombings occurred at the Communist Party’s provincial committee headquarters in Shanxi Province.

The public discontent demonstrated by the people who perpetrated these incidents could be behind the Xi administration’s effort to maintain public order by force.

While the statement calls for enhancing the independence of judicial organizations, it is doubtful whether this can be done, as they remain under the Communist Party’s supervision.

We have no alternative but to say that China’s social and economic instabilities are likely to continue for a long time.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 15, 2013)
(2013年11月15日01時33分  読売新聞)


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