What difference does it make to us, the common people, that China is a socialist country? What would happen if China were now capitalist? In my opinion, China’s status as a socialist country brings some fundamental statutes to the operation of our society. The government must truly serve the people, which has also become the ruling tenet of the Communist Party of China. And the method of organizing society to keep it functioning must be truly conducive to the achievement of fairness and justice. The people have the right to carry out daily and comprehensive supervision of the implementation of these statutes and express their opinions through specific matters.
China’s construction of better livelihoods for its people has advanced rapidly in recent years, but the number of complaints about problems related to livelihoods has exceeded that of all other issues among public opinion. It’s because the public believes the government has the responsibility to handle things better. China’s economic level of development lags behind that of developed Western countries, but many people have used the well performed aspects of Western society as a benchmark to measure China’s welfare. The socialist ideology has shaped Chinese people’s high expectations for top-quality public services.
Outside China, things like this have happened now and then: When some Chinese businesspeople are cheated or Chinese workers don’t get the commission promised by local employers, they go to the Chinese embassy there to protest and demand the embassy to help solve their problems instead of asking the local governments or courts for a solution. This also reflects that Chinese people believe the government should provide all-round services.
People often use big government to describe China’s system. Some say since China has a big government, the government’s obligations should match its power and the government should assume unlimited responsibilities. In fact, the logic is often the other way around. Big government is not the reason, but the result. Because China is a socialist country, the Chinese people have formed a cognition and belief that the government should serve the specific interests of the public, which, as a result, has continuously promoted the expansion of government functions.
No society is perfect. China’s social construction is often a result of complaints from public opinion and actions taken by the government and mainstream society. In general, it’s fair to say China’s socialist system has been people-centered and done its best to fasten the country’s progress and apply relevant results to improve the well-being of its people. The Chinese public has strong expectations for the continuous improvement of social governance involving their own interests and believe public criticism and complaints should generate pressure. When problems and difficulties arise, the government needs to serve the people, and cannot shirk or evade responsibilities. This is not only a common protocol of the whole of Chinese society but also has gradually become a belief that supports the value of judgment on various things.
This is a complex and imperfect China, with all kinds of dissatisfaction in public opinion. But when you look back over the years and decades as a unit, you often find that the country has progressed further, and a good, new trend has emerged in the area where the public used to have opinions. Because of this, my generation has experienced a life full of changes and different experiences. I anticipate and believe that even though many young people today feel the hardships of life under the pressure of starting a family and a career, their life will be intertwined with the ever-improving changes in the country in the future. When they have enough visibility to look back on their life and times, their sentiments will be highly similar to those of my generation.
China has just completed the building of a moderately prosperous society, and the US is anxious because it sees the prospect of China becoming a developed society. I think the panic of the Americans can be seen as a mirror for the current young generation to foresee their collective future destiny.
by Hu Xijin