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Listening to China's worries good for the world

2010-03-15 11:18 BJT

Special Report: 2010 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

BEIJING, March 15 -- The world is used to hearing about the West's concerns over China-related issues, so it may come as a surprise how frequently China's worries came up during Premier Wen Jiabao's press conference Sunday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao answers questions during a press conference after the closing meeting of the Third Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 14, 2010. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao answers questions during a press conference
after the closing meeting of the Third Session of the 11th National 
People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 
capital of China, March 14, 2010. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

The term "worries" was used as many as 13 times during the concluding press conference of this year's NPC session, while it was used only about four times when Wen met the press upon the conclusion of the "two sessions" in 2009, and it was not used at all in Wen's 2007 and 2008 press conferences.

The signal conveyed here is strong and clear: China is deeply concerned with the mounting domestic and external pressures, both of which pose severe tests for its savvy and vision.

Justice is the top item in China's long list of worries. It outweighs other anxieties, as it spells out the root cause for many other thorny domestic problems, including corruption, income distribution, the hukou (residency permit) system, housing price bubbles and inflation.

As Wen stated, "Equity and justice are the basis of social stability, and they shine brighter than the sun." While this year's NPC session has been hailed for having passed an amendment to the electoral law, which grants equal representation to urban and rural citizens in the legislature, China has far to go toward both economic and political justice.

No less pressing are China's worries over the outside world.