Conscience, Cost, and Control(1)

By English Edition Staff
Published: 2008-02-01

The EO's news department takes stock of other Chinese periodicals.

Responses to Calls for a Regulated Market Economy
Dushu (读书)
Feature, January issue, pages 3-40

The January issue of Dushu kicks of with a collection of responses to Wu Jinglian's recently published book, "Calling for a Regulated Market Economy" (呼唤法治的市场经济). Wu argues that China is too warmly welcoming free market refoms, which due to a lack of regulatory balancing, have resulted in a concentrated elite carving up China's wealth and the emergence of a kind of Chinese "bureaucratic capitalism". Notable essays include:

Jiang Ping: Within and beyond economics
Liang Zhiping: From a market economy to a regulated economy: Wu Jinglian's reform dictionary
Zhu Dingding: Saving the market
Lu Zhoulai: The dreams and reality of reform
Wang Diesheng: The core problems of China's economic development

Editor's note: The emergence of various problems alongside reform and opening up have led many Chinese scholars to backlash against the belief that market reforms will be a panacea to China's development. Though it is difficult to pinpoint what sides of the issue specific officials and regulators fall on, debate within the government has continued despite the official stance of championing reform since the late 70's. Chinese economists and legal experts have long fought over which discipline should guide the next phase of reform, and grew especially fierce in 2006 when a young but well-known professor named Li Shuguang at the China University of Law and Politics commented to a Financial Times journalist that "the past twenty years of Chinese reform has been guided by economists. Their job is done now, and now it's time for the legal experts to take over." His words not only drew ire from economists, but countless Chinese commentators online asking, "so, when will ordinary people get a chance to the reigns of the country?"

The Backbone of Made-in-China
Southern People Weekly (南方人物周刊)
From the special pull-out on Chinese Economic Figures of the Year; issue no. 109, Feb 1, 2008

Chen Xiaolan is a doctor with a conscience. She was forced out of a highly compensated position at a hospital in Shanghai for exposing medical fraud 11 years ago, where she put herself through experiments to prove the bogusness of a serum injection and medical equipment the hospital claimed to be high-tech. Since then, Chen has made trip after trip to Beijing--from initially staying at proper hotel to renting a dingy basement room in the petitioner's village--hoping to alert relevant government authorities to the matter. She was once accused of betraying the country by supplying information to foreign journalists, and some officials have suggested she undergo "political correction". Over the years, she has twice lost her job for fighting medical quacks. Now, at 53, she uses her professional knowledge to act as a whistle-blower and an advocate for medical reform in China.

Chen's perseverance and selflessness has earned her nomination for the Charity Personnel of the Year by the state broadcast CCTV economic channel, which highlights not only the movers and shakers who contributed to China's buoyant economy, but also personalities engaged in social welfare work. The organizer states in the magazine's special pull-out printed in advance of the results--to be announced before the Chinese New Year-- that the awards aim to commemorate people who have done made-in-China proud and provided a benchmark for "China value" as the backbone for future development.

Editor's note: Hip buzz phrases like "corporate social responsibility" and "from made-in-China to China value" have been appearing frequently in the Chinese media, but while the awareness of practicing social responsibility for the sake of sustainable development has gained popular momentum, on the ground, certain topics still remain off-limits for public discourse and involvement.

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