the secret to happiness…

Yesterday, Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang (汪洋) addressed the 11th Guangdong Provincial Congress of Party Representatives, making five statements which have set him apart from other high-ranking leaders. Once a rival of Bo Xilai for a place in the 18th Naptional People’s Congress appointments, Wang Yang has also made his gesture to gain the support of the people. However, where Bo Xilai went poor populist, Wang Yang’s speech has me remembering the Province’s historic role in the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, when 100 years ago, with its links to overseas Chinese and relatively advanced economy, Guangdong was the cradle of China’s bourgeois revolution, in contrast to the rural uprising that Mao Zedong transformed into a socialist revolution. Wang Yang is a leader for China’s emergent and increasingly vocal middle class. And yes, many of them live in the Pearl River Delta.

Wang Yang’s Five Statements

1. The People are the agent that makes history, as well as the agent that constructs and enjoys Happy Guangdong. The people have the right to pursue happiness; it is the responsibility of the Party and the government to benefit the People. We must discard the mistaken idea that the People’s happiness is a result of the Party and government’s benevolence. (人民群众是创造历史的主体,也是建设和享有幸福广东的主体。追求幸福,是人民的权利;造福人民,是党和政府的责任。我们必须破除人民幸福是党和政府恩赐的错误认识.)

2. We need to discard unwritten rules and bad habits, creating a just, lively, and orderly social environment, where those who follow the rules don’t suffer, where talented people can take the lead, and can pursue and create their own happy life to the best of their ability. (破除潜规则陋习,创造公平公正、活力有序的社会环境,让守规矩的人不吃亏,让有本事的人有奔头,各尽所能地追求和创造自己的幸福生活.)

3. The greatest threat to the Party’s long-term political control is becoming too far from the masses. Our Party can only achieve eternal success to the extent that it comes from the People, is rooted in the People, and serves the People. (党长期执政的最大危险是脱离群众。只有始终坚持来自人民、植根人民、服务人民,我们党才能永远立于不败之地.)

4. We need the courage to use personal revolution to firmly destroy the interests that have turned their backs on socialist market economic reforms in order to resolve problems of government agents exceeding their function, absenting their function, and mistaking their function, making government into a provider of public goods and services. (我们要以自我革命的勇气,坚决打破背离社会主义市场经济改革方向的利益格局,解决政府职能越位、缺位、错位等问题,使政府真正成为公共产品和公共服务的提供者.)

5. Guangdong’s market society has already begun to change… If we take hold of this opportunity, we can breakthrough many difficulties and problems on the road ahead of us, smoothly entering the ranks of more modern areas; if we don’t take hold of this opportunity, we may be unable to escape “the middle income trap”, stagnating and retreating, and the advances we have already made could be lost.  (广东经济社会已经步入转型期……把握得好,我们就能破解前进道路上的各种困难和问题,顺利步入比较发达的现代化地区行列;把握得不好,我们就有可能跨不过‘中等收入陷阱’,出现停滞和倒退,已经取得的发展成果也有可能断送.)

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  1. Pingback: top ten concepts of shenzhen « Shenzhen Noted

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