China Promotes Democracy While Achieving Rapid Growth: UNDP Report

While speaking highly of China's rapid economic growth, the United Nations' Human Development Report 2002 released Wednesday in Manila said Chinese people have been given greater voice in formulating national reform policies and programs.

China, the most populous developing country, is among the 24 countries which achieved over 3.7 percent annual growth in per capita gross domestic product in the 1990s. The growth rate was suggested for halving poverty by 2015, but 127 countries with 34 percent of world's people have not reached the goal, it said.

The rapid growth in China since the 1970s has enabled it to catch up to some extent with rich countries, said the report titled "Deepening Democracy in a Fragmented World" and commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Meanwhile, Chinese leaders have taken steps to increase participation and accountability in local government, the report noted.

The first efforts came in the 1980s, with elections for villagecommittees under the 1987 Organic Law of Village Committees, following a series of grass-roots initiatives by villagers, it said, adding that the elections enhanced the accountability, legitimacy and efficiency of grass-roots administration in China.

The report also noted the important changes at the national level. Much of the public service system is being professionalized and there have been ambitious efforts to combat corruption, it pointed out.

In all, major reform of all aspects of Chinese governance has been set in motion, at least with the potential to alter the relationship between the state and its citizens, the report said.





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