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China experiencing a fourth revolution: Taiwanese academics

2012/07/20 22:55:03

Taipei, July 20 (CNA) China is undergoing a "fourth revolution" as it is carrying out its 12th five-year plan and is likely to face changes in its social and political landscape, a Taiwanese academic said Friday.

"China is on the eve of tremendous change" as it implements its five-year plan, said Chao Chien-min, a former deputy chief of the Mainland Affairs Council and now a professor of development studies at National Chengchi University.

China underwent land reform in 1949, the country's first modern revolution. In 1979, the communist government implemented "socialism with Chinese characteristics," which is largely viewed as the country's second revolution.

China's third revolution came in the 1990s, when many state-owned companies underwent large-scale privatization.

Chao said it is crucial for China to transform its economy in the fourth revolution, but rising discontent among Chinese citizens over social injustice and government corruption will push the impact of the revolution beyond the economic sphere.

Many in China are hoping for political reform, he said.

Chen Teh-sheng, a researcher at the Institute for International Relations at National Chengchi University, agreed with Chao but also saw warning signs on the horizon.

Chen said China's 12th five-year plan focuses on equitable income distribution, innovative social management, and an improvement in health care and social benefits, indications of the government's desire to quell social discontent.

He predicted, however, that China's authoritative one-party rule and pervasive corruption will become obstacles to change.

China's National People's Congress passed the draft of the 12th five-year plan in 2011. It serves as a guideline for the country's social and economic development for the five-year period ending in 2015.

(By Cho Ssu-chia and Ann Chen)