US professor bashed for views that China's reform is stagnating

By Kou Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016-6-3 1:03:01

Experts say reforms have potential

China's reform still has great potential to unleash despite the current difficulties, said experts reached by the Global Times in response to US scholar David Shambaugh's comments that country's reform is stagnating and lacks a big push.

In his latest article for The New York Times, David Shambaugh, a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and author of over 30 books on China, showed his disappointment over China's reform, saying that "...The regime abandoned relative liberation, since then, atrophy has accelerated. This does not mean that China is about to collapse, but it does mean that China is now stagnating, relatively speaking."

He added that China needs a big reform push which is unlikely to happen.

Chinese experts however believe that the motivation and potential for country's reform still exist despite current difficulties.

Admitting that China's reform faces multiple obstacles, especially when it comes to political reform, Zhuang Deshui, deputy director of the Research Center for Government Integrity-Building at Peking University, said that China's reform is not "stagnating," as positive measures have already been taken to push the reform forward.

"Interest groups in government have become the main obstacle to reform, and China's current anti-corruption campaign deepens the reform," Zhuang said.

Data released by China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in 2015 show that over 100,000 cases involving Party rules violations have been investigated, while over 130,000 corrupt officials have been dealt with from 2012 to 2015.

Unlike 30 years ago, it's difficult for the public to agree on the reform, as some policies and measures may harm certain people's interests. The government is aware of this and has made great efforts to propel the reform forward, Zhuang said.

Apart from the efforts made on the country's political reforms, China has also laid down measures to push the country's economic  forward as all signs point to an economic slowdown.

Policy makers pledged to take steps to push forward supply-side structural reform in 2016 and beyond.

"China's economic reform has entered a tough period. The results may not be satisfying in a short run, but it does not mean that the country's reform is stagnating. Western countries including the US should be patient with China's reform as it requires time to yield good results," Li Wei, an associate professor at the School of International Studies of the Renmin University, told the Global Times, adding that since the country now needs to find new economic growth areas, certain measures have already addressed the problems and will lead the country's economic development into a new stage.

Newspaper headline: US prof bashed for China views

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