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March 9, 2010

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Sociologist contributes to harmony theory

CHINA Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD)

Founded in Shanghai on December 30, 1945, the China Association for Promoting Democracy is a political alliance committed to building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

As a participating party, the CAPD cooperates closely with the Communist Party of China (CPC). The CAPD's members are mainly senior and middle-ranking intellectuals in culture, education and publishing. Major founding members include Ma Xulun, Wang Shao'ao, Zhou Jianren and Xu Guangping.

The Shanghai branch listed 8,470 members at the end of 2009.

Party members should be actively involved, but everyone has different strengths and expertise. As a social science professor, my strength is theoretical research.

Since I joined the China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD) in 1986, my contributions have been mainly in theoretical research. In more than 20 years I have written at least a million characters regarding politics and policies.

Most cadres in China's United Front respect differences and welcome plurality of views. They provide me with an ideal environment for probing sensitive issues and putting forward bold thinking. For a long time, the United Front system has allowed me to speak out on political theories, and to act on a political stage.

Today I am vice director of the Shanghai United Front Theory Research Association, and my research has been encouraged and received high honors from United Front departments. In 2009, I published two books, "Talking About Social Construction" and "Dictionary of the Social Sciences," co-written with more than 30 other people. I also wrote papers on Social Contradictions, Inner Party Democracy and Social Democracy, and Sixty Years of the PRC.

I have advocated "political civilizations" in China, in addition to popular ideas of material and spiritual civilization. Political civilizations should go hand-in-hand with economic reform, and I discussed political civilizations and political system reform every year at the CPPCC. I wrote "Ethics for Officials" and "Ten Principles for Being Clean and Honest," both published widely in newspapers.

I have appealed for correct understanding of China's social strata, especially back at a time when the middle class was severely criticized, which greatly shocked me. A society with too many rich and poor people will falter. I also argued for more attention to underprivileged groups at a time when certain people questioned their existence.

I have appealed for an expanded United Front with various social organizations. It is my belief that social organization is a third institution running parallel with government and the market.

Under the Shanghai United Front Theory Organization, I led a research team that proposed a new idea that "half of the United Front work lies in social organization." Our suggestion that the United Front system should mobilize all the potential forces was highly acclaimed.

My articles elaborated on the relationship between the United Front and a harmonious society. As a social science professor, I was extremely heartened when China put forward the idea of building a harmonious society and I published extensively on the topic.

Over the years I urged the United Front to befriend Chinese in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and make friends with other overseas Chinese. After all, "all within the four seas are brothers."


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