[note: Wangfu Ping was a commentator with Liberation Daily and a deputy editor-in-chief with People’s Daily. From the end of 1991 through the beginning of 1992, Wangfu Ping was known for a series of commentaries about economic reform in China.]
China has reached another historical turning point. During the process of building the well-off society, we are now looking at a period in which intra-national contradictions are showing and international frictions are many. There is a new wave of thought in society that wants to negate and oppose the reforms. These people regard the new problems and contradictions that occurred during the reform process as the bad effects of western liberalization and they are issuing criticisms and condemnations. It would seem that we are once again facing another round of debate about socialism versus capitalism (ÂßìÁ§æÂßìËµÑ).
We ought to look at this properly with a combination of history and reality, together with theory and practice, in order to analyze the current problems. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the negation of reform and opening had caused a temporary clamor of ideas. But at that critical moment in history, Deng Xiaoping made the definitive statements: “Planned economy is not equivalent to socialism, and market economy is not equivalent to capitalism”; “the key is the question of whether we want ‘capitalism’ or ‘socialism’ but the standard for judgment is to see whether something is good for advancing the productivity in a socialist society, whether it is good for increasing the combined national resources of the socialist country and whether it is good for raising the living standards of the people”; “China must be wary of the Right, but the main thing is to hold off the Left.”