News

 

DATE=12/26/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-224528

TITLE=CHINA/STABILITY (L-ONLY)

BYLINE=STEPHANIE HO

DATELINE=BEIJING

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  CHINA'S PRESIDENT HAS ORDERED POLICE AROUND THE COUNTRY 

TO STEP UP EFFORTS TO SAFEGUARD SOCIAL STABILITY -- WHICH HE 

CALLS THE  PREREQUISITE FOR REFORM AND DEVELOPMENT.  STEPHANIE HO

REPORTS FROM BEIJING, LABOR UNREST IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE NEXT 

YEAR AS CHINA DEEPENS REFORM OF STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES AND 

POTENTIALLY LAYS OFF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF WORKERS.



TEXT:  IN A SPEECH TO A NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT CONFERENCE, 

CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN ISSUED A WARNING THAT FAILURE TO 

MAINTAIN SOCIAL STABILITY IN THE NEW YEAR COULD JEOPARDIZE 

ECONOMIC PROGRESS.



PRESIDENT JIANG DID  NOT  SPECIFICALLY MENTION LABOR UNREST, BUT 

HE STRESSED THAT 1998 WAS A CRITICAL YEAR IN REALIZING THE SPIRIT

OF THE 15TH COMMUNIST PARTY CONGRESS.  WHAT THAT MEANS IS AN 

OVERHAUL OF THE ENTIRE STATE SECTOR, WHICH HAS BEEN THE 

CORNERSTONE OF CHINESE SOCIALISM.



THE PRESIDENT -- WHO IS ALSO HEAD OF CHINA'S COMMUNIST PARTY -- 

USED THE PARTY CONGRESS IN SEPTEMBER TO PUSH THROUGH A BOLD PLAN 

TO REFORM THE STATE SECTOR THROUGH MERGERS, BANKRUPTCY, AND 

JOINT-STOCK OWNERSHIP.



CHINA HAS MORE THAN 100-THOUSAND STATE-OWNED FIRMS -- MOST OF 

WHICH FUNCTION AT A LOSS AND REQUIRE HUGE INFUSIONS OF GOVERNMENT

SUPPORT.  CLOSING THESE FACTORIES DOWN WOULD MEAN LAYING OFF 

MILLIONS OF WORKERS, PUTTING AN END TO THE CRADLE-TO-GRAVE 

SECURITY THEY HAD BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO.



ALL AROUND CHINA THIS PAST YEAR, WORKERS HAVE CAUSED SPORADIC 

UNREST AS MANY STATE FIRMS FAIL TO SUPPORT THEIR RANKS OF 

REDUNDANT WORKERS AND RETIREES.  WORKER PROTESTS HAVE BEEN 

REPORTED IN ANHUI PROVINCE AS WELL AS IN THE SOUTHWESTERN 

PROVINCE OF SICHUAN. 



CHINA'S OFFICIAL URBAN JOBLESS RATE IS AROUND FOUR PERCENT, BUT 

THAT  FIGURE DOES  NOT  INCLUDE MILLIONS OF REDUNDANT WORKERS WHO

ARE KEPT ON THE PAYROLLS OF IDLE FACTORIES, DRAWING ONLY A 

FRACTON OF THEIR ORIGINAL WAGES.  (SIGNED)



NEB/HO/KL



26-Dec-97 5:46 AM EST (1046 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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