Wang Yang says its not the Party’s role to bestow happiness on the people
The Southern Metropolis Daily is a Guangdong-based newspaper with a big print circulation in its home province, and a wide national audience online. The front page headline today is: “At the Party Congress, Wangyang said we must let go of the false idea that the party and government are responsible for providing people’s happiness.” This has been circulated all over the Chinese Internet since last night, when it first appeared.
Wang Yang is the Provincial Party Secretary of Guangdong Province, and a member of the CPC Central Committee. He is the representative of what has been called the “Guangdong Model’. In contrast to Bo Xilai’s state-led, neo-Maoist ‘Chongqing Model,’ Wang’s way is seen as more private enterprise-friendly and politically liberal.
What has got Chinese netizens so excited about this headline is the idea that a government official is finally acknowledging it is not the government’s role to give and take happiness like a feudal ruler.
The Southen Metropolis Daily is generally liberal, but it is controlled by the Guangdong provincial government. The fact that it chose to highlight this particular comment is significant: The comment itself was just a small feature of Wang Yang’s speech, which covered the standard topics in ordinary Partyspeak: persist with reform and opening up, continue scientific development, promote social harmony, and maintain the power of the Party. He highlighted a range of new accomplishments by the Guangdong government, but also assigned agency to the people themselves, saying, “reform and innovation must rely on the creation of the masses.”
Links and Sources
Southern Metropolis Daily: 汪洋在省党代会报告能出： 必须破除人民幸福是党和政府恩赐的错误认识
The New York Times: A comprehensive account of the recent Bo Xilai scandal