China’s ruling Communist Party will this week endorse a revamped economic model for the country that places more emphasis on the environment and marginalised people, a government spokesman said Sunday.
The party will change the constitution at its five-yearly Congress that begins Monday, incorporating President Hu Jintao's ideology of “scientific outlook on development”, spokesperson Li Dongsheng told reporters.
The move to include Hu’s ideology in the constitution is widely seen as a sign that the president has consolidated his power after he succeeded Jiang Zemin five years ago.
Scientific development is a catchphrase for a broad concept that, in general, seeks to correct many imbalances that have accompanied China’s historic economic development in the past three decades.
While many millions of people have been lifted out of poverty and mega-cities have modernised at a frantic pace, it has come at a huge cost to the environment.
The wealth gap has also widened enormously, which, with corruption, is a big reason behind social unrest across the country.
According to the official Congress website, scientific development “means China has to change from an over-reliance on a cheap labour force, funds and natural resources”.
Instead, China will have “well-educated workers”, while there will be a greater emphasis on “improving science and technology”.
“(This is) a development mode that not only values quantity and speed but also high quality and energy saving,” the website said.
Hu is expected to strengthen his control of the party at the Congress, which will see 2,213 delegates gather for a week at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The Congress will also see a leadership reshuffle during which Hu’s successor is likely to emerge by being thrust into the nine-member Standing Committee of the Politburo, which is the most powerful organ in the party.