Income gap, disorder are cadres' top concerns

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 12:00am

The income gap and social disorder are the main problems concerning Communist Party officials, according to an annual survey conducted by the Central Party School.

In a poll of 107 officials holding leading positions in local governments, the party school found that 44 per cent saw the income gap as the most serious problem affecting China's social development. Twenty-four per cent said social disorder worried them most, while 8.4 per cent named corruption.

The results signal growing concern about social instability, as reflected in the increasing number of large protests.

In a similar survey last year, officials expressed most concern about unemployment, community spirit and corruption.

The Central Party School provides training in party theory to mid- and high-level officials.

The survey, which was conducted by the school's social situation analysis and forecasting group, also gauged respondents' views on the importance of various reforms next year.

Political reform, which had been ranked the top priority by party cadres in previous years, ranked fourth in the current survey, with 12.1 per cent of leaders saying it was most important.

About 28 per cent of cadres saw reform of the government's personnel system as the most important issue. Addressing the income gap came second, with 21.5 per cent saying it was most important; and reform of state-owned enterprises placed third, with 13.1 per cent.

Twenty-eight per cent said reforms were moving too slowly, while 60.7 per cent said they were proceeding at a 'normal pace'. Only 2.8 per cent said they were moving too fast.