Special Report: 17th CPC National
Taking care of the
When the first national congress of the CPC was
convened 86 years ago, a dozen delegates had to meet in a Shanghai back alley
and ended their session drifting on a boat so as to flee police search.
Attributing its rise and victory to the solid support of the bottom of the
society, the Party has enshrined the images of hammer and sickle onto its flag
and vowed to be the vanguards of farmers and workers.
With the lapse of time, the structure of the Party's
more than 73 million membership is undergoing gradual changes, with many more
coming from new social strata such as private entrepreneurs. To unleash and
sustain the vitality of the Party, however, delegates said the Party must keep
soberminded with the yawning wealth gap and the needs of the vulnerable.
Official data showed that the country's Gini
Coefficient has surpassed the warning mark of 0.4, with the per capita GDP of
eastern coastal Shanghai standing around 76,000 yuan (about 10,133U.S. dollars),
more than 13 times that of southwestern Guizhou.
Rubert Hoogewerf, a former British accountant who
became well-known for his annual ranking of the China's wealthiest, exposed
lately in its 2007 China Wealthiest List that 800 Chinese have made the cut-off
of 800 million yuan (about 107 million U.S. dollars) last year, up from 500
people from a year earlier. By contrast, the per capita income of rural China
remains less than 3,600 yuan (about 480 U.S. dollars) on average as official
Since common prosperity has been projected as the
final objective of the CPC, delegates held that the Party must make sure the
people could share the wealth fairly. "If someone with one lame leg walks too
fast, soon or later he will fall," said one delegate.
Jiao Xuebai, director of the Labor and Social
Securities Department of east China's Shandong Province, said the government
must assume more responsibility to expand entitlement expenditure and make sure
social benefits, health care and education available to the needy.