Property Law an Encouragement for Making Wealth: Law Makers
In explaining the draft property law to lawmakers as well as the public, China’s top leader and some experts have been stressing the message that one aim of the law is to encourage Chinese people to create wealth.
Mr. Wang Zhaoguo, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, read an explanation of the property law to a NPC plenary on Thursday, telling around 3000 NPC delegates that the law protects private properties, including legal income, real estate, savings and investments.
“These stipulations,” Mr. Wang said, “are conductive in stimulating people’s initiative to create and accumulate wealth and promote social harmony.”
Similar claims were made by Wang Xiang, who was the first CPPCC member to submit a proposal on drafting a property law back in 2001, during an online-streamed interview with sina.com.cn on Wednesday .
Mr. Wang Xiang said the property law is not about protecting the wealth of those who are already rich, but common people’s motivation to create wealth, including those who are poor for the time being.
This law “is to protect development, protect creation and the spirit of creation, as well as the result [of the creation]. Our country will have hope only when everybody is working hard to create wealth,” Mr. Wang said.
It is noteworthy, however, that the pursuit of wealth is something that was condemned or at least not encouraged in this nation for a long, long time.
Traditional Chinese values, such as Confucius teachings, do not take money making as an honorable goal for a person’s life. The conventional wisdom in China also discourages boasting one’s possession of wealth but prefers hiding it to avoid covet or harm from others. In those decades prior to and during the Cultural Revolution, particularly, being rich was deemed as sinful while “the poorer, the more honorable” was a widely accepted value.
Things have changed dramatically since China started to adopt development-oriented policies after the Cultural Revolution. Today, not only that Chinese people are passionately pursuing material fortune and personal wealth, but the state government is now recognizing and encouraging the pursuit in form of legislation, with the drafting and possible pass of China’s first property law as a significant milestone.
The law defines ownership of the state, the collective and the individual, and grants equal protection to these ownerships, Mr. Wang Zhaoguo explains.
Starting in 1993, drafting of the law has been through seven formal reviews by lawmakers, and the current reading by the on-going NPC session is the eighth review, setting a record in the legislation history of the People’s Republic.
Lawmakers are expected to vote for the law on March 16.
NPC delegates convened on Thursday to review two draft laws on property and corporate tax, respectively. The former addresses granting equal protection to state and private properties, and latter introduces a unified income tax for domestic and foreign-funded enterprises.
The delegates heard the explanation of the property law delivered by Mr. Wang Zhaoguo, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, and the explanation of the corporate tax law delivered by Finance Minister Jin Renqing.
The two drafts are expected to be voted by the lawmakers on March 16, when the current session ends.
----by Josie Liu