Hotly debated at the 18th Party Congress: “What does a fairer China really mean?”
Various newspapers in China today published headlines that are supposedly based on hot debates at the ongoing 18th Party Congress on the question of how to create a fairer and more equal China. The debates on this issue have come to rest on three core elements: equal rights, equal opportunities, and equality under the law (权利公平·机会公平·规则公平), of which the last one is the most important. All these headlines are based on a Xinhua report from yesterday which provided a few brief insights on what is being discussed at the Congress. Of the three elements that are highlighted for making a fairer China, the newspapers’ discussion of the third element (equality under the law) doesn’t shy away from a pressing issue in China: the unfair privileges of the richest people and largest companies in China.
“What does a fairer China really mean?”:
The headlines on this issue in China today have either copied yesterday’s Xinhua report outright (see for example the Jing Daily [晶报] or the Sanjin City News [三晋都市报] in the gallery above), or expanded and republished it in a more detailed form (see for example the Star Daily (新报) and Guizhou Metropolis Daily [贵州都市报] in the gallery above.
Taking its cue from Xinhua, the Jing Daily from Shenzhen in Guangzhou province today laid out the essentials of the three core elements that are apparently being discussed at the 18th Party Congress for a fairer China. The first element is “equal rights” (权利公平). Irrespective of where you are from or what you do, the editorial says, everyone should enjoy the same rights. According to “experts,” the editorial goes on, the people’s awareness of their rights and their insistence upon them should now rise from a subsistence level to a development level (人们对“权利”的认知与诉求从生存层面上升到发展层面).
The second element is equal opportunities (机会公平), and here the editorial quotes statements from a few delegates at the 18th Party Congress about how important it is for poorer and rural children to have the same educational opportunities as the more well-off members of society do. The third and last element is the one that the editorial says is the most important of the three: equality under the law (规则公平). Here the editorial openly states that private companies are being unfairly disadvantaged compared to state-owned enterprises. Yet not only this, it continues,
Some Party delegates believe that privileged people can find a good job based on their father’s influence, and some people have unfair access to better medical care, among other such unfair things in society. These things could easily make the rest of the population resentful.
All the platitudes and meaningless complex sentences aside, these musings in China’s newspapers today might indicate that the 18th Party Congress is seeing at least some discussion of how to address pressing issues in China.