Jean-Philippe BÉJA, David CHAN, Gerald CHAN, Lai-Ha CHAN, Sylvia CHAN,
Joseph Y. S. CHEUNG, Yingjie GUO, Guoping JIANG, Mobo KAO,
Charles C. L. KWONG, Willy Wo-Lap LAM, Pak K. LEE, Beatrice K. F. LEUNG,
Guoli LIU, Tit Wing LO, Colin MACKERRAS, Raymond NGAN, Alvin Y. SO,
Guiguo WANG, Marcus J. J. WANG, Linda WONG, Ray YEP, Ji YOU,
China’s economic development has certainly been impressive in recent years. But the leadership is aware of the challenges and sharpening contradictions involved. At this stage, the emphases are on sustainable development and improvement in efficiency. It understands that the gaps among regions, between the coastal and interior provinces, between the urban and rural sectors, and between the rich and poor have been widening, hence its appeal for the establishment of a harmonious society. The state is ready to allocate more resources to help the under-privileged; and given its much increased revenues and foreign exchange reserves, it can afford to improve the quality and coverage of the social security system. But the leadership has no plan for democratic reforms, and will not accept any erosion of the Party’s monopoly of political power. In fact, it has stepped up pressure on the mass media, the non-governmental organizations, and the dissidents.
This edited volume involves a team of China experts contributing chapters on their respective areas of expertise. It is hoped that it will serve as a good starting-point for informed discussions, and therefore will be an attractive reference book for China courses at the undergraduate level in local and Western universities. It also aims to serve as a useful and convenient reference for the general public such as bankers, business executives and journalists interested in China.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the City University of Hong Kong Press for their hard work and dedication throughout the publication process, especially Mr. Patrick Kwong, the director, who has offered much valuable advice and assistance. Thanks are also due to all the authors for their support and co-operation, especially in meeting the numerous deadlines set within a tight editorial schedule. Last but not least, this book would have been impossible without the valuable contributions from my colleagues at the Contemporary China Research Project, City University of Hong Kong.
Joseph Y.S. Cheng