40 years of reform and opening-up has brought enormous changes to China's society. At the beginning of the reform, because China suffered severe scarcities of food and other necessities as a result of a planned economy, the main task for the country was to unleash and develop productivity.
Now, as its people have met their basic needs and even become well-off, in order to maintain the momentum of development, China must adapt its reform to the new reality. In this next stage, what should China do? How to drive reform in the new era and avoid falling into the "Latin American Trap?"
CGTN's Robert Lawrence Kuhn spoke with Peng Sen, the chairman of China Society of Economic Reform and former deputy chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (2008-2012). The NDRC is the national planner of China's economic and social development and the coordinator of China's economic system.
According to Peng Sen, while great social progress is being made, people's demand for a better life is more than a basic right to life, it has now expanded to personal rights, such as property and health. These changes have brought new requirements and mere economic development is no longer sufficient.
Since China has entered a crucial stage of reform, policymakers should pay more attention to the overall economic-social development, including social security, healthcare, education and elderly care.
Besides, the country should encourage social organizations, like social-intermediary groups, to play their due role to build a more self-sustainable, autonomous civil society with communities where citizens can manage their own affairs. Peng stressed the importance of commitment to the rule of law in order to sustain the achievements reaped from economic growth and to safeguard people's basic rights, especially human rights and property rights.
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