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Business People Urged to Balance Profit With Socialist Aims

China News Digest, 14 November 2001

[CND, 11/14/01] Private business people have been reminded by a senior Chinese Communist Party cadre that they balance making profits with the more traditional goals of socialism, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday. WANG Zhaoguo, currently heading the Communist Party's United Front Work Department, said in remarks made public that mainland business people should follow the three combinations principle in their pursuit of success.

Mr Wang's department is responsible for coordinating the Communist Party's relations with other political groups, and for propagating party policies targeting non-party members. He aired his views in Hefei city (Anhui province) on Sunday, while attending the board meeting of a charity sponsored by private businessman and focusing on the alleviation of poverty in the region.

According to a recent Xinhua report, the three combinations principle prescribes that private businessmen should harmonize the development of their business with that of the country, their pursuit of individual wealth with the wealth of others, and socialist ethics with the responsibility of staying within the law.

To be a qualified constructor [of socialism], a private businessman must take the initiative to shoulder his social responsibility, Mr Wang remarked.

Mr Wang also had words of praise for private businessmen, noting that their contribution to mainland society had been recognised in a speech by President JIANG Zemin in July. In a speech given during the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, Mr Jiang said wealth should no longer be an issue in selecting prospective Party members, because many capitalists were skilled professionals who had much to contribute to the socialist cause.

Analysts considered the President's speech to be a significant step in the Communist Party's bid to reform and adapt itself to a the changing socio-economic situation in the mainland, more than 20 after the death of Chairman MAO Zedong and the beginning of the post-Mao reforms..

In recent years conservative factions within the Party have expressed concern that the increasing influence of the private sector in mainland society would threaten the Party's monopoly on political power and dilute the country's socialist character. At the same time, private business people have complained that their inability to enter the Party had been hampering further economic growth, and had repeatedly called for amendments to the mainland constitution to give them greater political and economic protection. (Laurel Mittenthal)