Harmonious society
The construction of a Harmonious Society is a socio-economic vision that is said to be the ultimate end result of Chinese leader Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004, succeeding Jiang...

's signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept
Scientific Development Concept
The scientific development concept, sometimes translated as the scientific development perspective, is the current official guiding socio-economic ideology of the Communist Party of China incorporating sustainable development, social welfare, a humanistic society, increased democracy, and,...

. It serves as the ultimate goal for the ruling Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 along with Xiaokang society, which aims for a "basically well-off" middle-class oriented society. First proposed by the Chinese government
Government of the People's Republic of China
All power within the government of the People's Republic of China is divided among three bodies: the People's Republic of China, State Council, and the People's Liberation Army . This article is concerned with the formal structure of the state, its departments and their responsibilities...

 under the Hu-Wen Administration
Hu-Wen Administration
The Hu-Wen Administration , or Hu-Wen New Administration is the name given to the Chinese leadership that succeeded Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Zhu Rongji, whose official start date was 2003...

 during the 2005 National People's Congress
National People's Congress
The National People's Congress , abbreviated NPC , is the highest state body and the only legislative house in the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress is held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China; with 2,987 members, it is the...

, the idea changes China's focus from economic growth to overall societal balance and harmony. The idea is clearly visible in banners all over China.

In a country where political class struggle and socialist slogans were the normative political guidelines for decades, the idea of societal harmony attempts to bring about the fusion of socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...


Opposition and social commentary

While initially the public's reaction to the idea was positive, over the years "Harmonious Society" has become a satirical placeholder for "stability at all costs." The government often uses "Harmonious Society" as a euphemism to justify the suppression of dissent and the tight control on information in China. Some social commentators have pointed out the irony that in building a "harmonious society" the country has become less just, less equal, and less fair.

River crab is an internet slang term created by internet users in Mainland China in reference to Internet censorship
Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China
Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China is conducted under a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. There are no specific laws or regulations which the censorship follows...

. The word river crab sounds similar to the word harmonious in Mandarin Chinese. In addition, the word "harmonious" can itself also be the placeholder verb for "to censor". Something that has been censored is often referred to as having been "harmonized."

See also

  • Class conflict
    Class conflict
    Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

  • Great unity
    Great unity
    The Great unity is a classical Chinese term found in classical Chinese philosophy which has been invoked many times in modern Chinese history...

    , Datong
  • Social issues in the People's Republic of China
    Social issues in the People's Republic of China
    Social issues in the People's Republic of China in the 21st century are varied and wide-ranging, and are a combined result of the Chinese economic reforms set in place in the late 1970s, China's political and cultural history, and an immense population...

  • Xiaokang
    Xiaokang is a Confucian term describing a society of modest means, or a society composed of a functional middle-class.- Ancient Use :...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.