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Beijing Plan Signals Reform to Come Quick

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The economic world never runs out of energy to discuss China and its development. Being a country with drastically different developmental model than the most of other countries China has become a surprising example of how modern ideas of market economy can be successfully subjugated to the socialist way of state organization. In their article "Beijing Plan Signals Reform to Come Quick" Bob Davis and Tom Orlik discuss the new action plan that is about to come into force and that was proposed by the current officials. The plan itself has unexpectedly radical suggestions; and the swiftness of its creation and propagation hints at a shift in government’s thinking.

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To begin with, the idea of redistributing wealth and reducing the gap between rich and poor deserves a fair amount of respect and analysis. According to the new plan, the state-owned firms have to pay 5% higher dividends than before. This would create immense amount of additional finances for the government to use. The idea is a constructive one, suggesting the companies earning millions or perhaps even billions of yuan to share the income with the state they are located in. Some of the received money would go to the social sector, increasing the welfare system and ultimately promoting the higher quality of life for an average Chinese citizen.

Another important idea discussed in the article is the initiatives regarding the rural community and the intended raise of urban population. It is argued that the increase in the numbers of city-dwellers would positively influence the overall economic situation. This is because people moving from the villages are able to find better jobs in the city while the job market in the rural areas benefits from reduced number of employment seekers. Moreover, the plan suggests granting more property rights to farmers. In my opinion, this is one of the most unexpected and beneficial aspects of this new proposal. Property rights are extremely important, especially for people who work directly on the ground and live of the harvest. Property rights increase the confidence in one’s future and job. Further, they encourage the farmers to take better care of the land they use and improve the quality of the soil by using various fertilizing methods.

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On the other hand, the action plan is controversial in some respects. There is a lot of skepticism as to how it will be implemented in the real life. The idea of making the businesses pay more dividends will be a difficult one to see through. The truth is that many state-owned enterprises also have government officials in high positions within the company. That is why in some cases the change will meet fierce opposition. Also, increasing urban population may have an unexpected backlash. Instead, the government should focus on strengthening the rural areas and making them more attractive to live in. Those areas may not be the industrial ones and not very financially solvent but at the same time this is where the crops are situated and the food for the country being harvested. Moreover, rural areas serve as the places where national culture is preserved. One cannot overestimate the importance of this role in the long run. That is why the extensive urbanization can cause a major shift in country’s values and compromise the traditional ways of doing things.

Overall, the article informs the readers about some important and rather thought-provoking issues in modern China. It has a purely economic perspective, which sometimes can fall short in examining the situation in its full complexity. The opinions presented by the authors, especially their comments on the Chinese officials’ statements, are well-supported and encourage the reader to make his/her own conclusions.

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