Economic Daily News: China's new political, economic landscape

The Communist Party of China is currently holding its 18th national congress to pave the way for a power reshuffle. Whether the new leadership team headed by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang can carry on the economic achievements of their predecessors and discard their political burdens will decide whether China will continue to prosper or go downhill. China's economy has arrived at a crossroads. Internationally, a structural economic adjustment in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis and the eurozone debt crisis have seriously impacted China's exports. Efforts in expanding domestic demand, meanwhile, have been hampered by over-investing, excess capacity and financial and housing bubbles. Greater challenges lie in social and political areas. Although China's national wealth has been increasing, its income per capita remains low. The income gap is widening, with 128 million people, or 10 percent of the population, living in poverty. In addition, corruption has become a serious problem because of government-business collusion and the existence of a large number of state-owned enterprises. There has been no progress when it comes to political reforms, making it impossible to resolve social conflicts and political disputes through a democratic mechanism. Chinese intellectuals generally agree that China's economic development will hit a dead end unless the country's political system is reformed. Under these circumstances, all sectors are hoping that Xi and Li will take the difficult task of political reforms upon themselves. From Taiwan's perspective, we cherish the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait over the past four years and hope that the ties will continue to move forward under Xi and Li. (Editorial abstract -- Nov. 9, 2012) (By Y.F. Low)