The goal of the CPPCC: ‘Make people happy’

The goal of the CPPCC: ‘Make people happy’

As China’s meeting of the CPPCC nears, Wen Jiabao announces its overarching theme -- happiness
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At the opening of the CPPCC, the "h" word on the minds of Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) and Premier Wen Jiabao isn't "harmony" as much as "happiness."

Only six percent of Chinese people see themselves as happy, reports China Daily of a recent survey released on Monday. This is despite the government's recent efforts to improve the population's sense of happiness through new economic and social policies.

This statistic is in line though with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s statements ahead of the start of the Fourth Session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top political advisory body.

Officials are now to be judged on their ability to "make people happy," reports the Telegraph of Wen’s statement.

"An official's performance and political achievements should be evaluated by whether the public are happy or not, dissatisfied or not, but not by how many high-rise buildings and projects he had been involved in," he said.

It's all about making people happy these days. Happy, happy, happy, that's the only word that counts at the moment— Chinese government official from a northern province

"It's all about making people happy these days," a Chinese government official from a northern province told The Telegraph. "Happy, happy, happy, that's the only word that counts at the moment."

In contrast to the current six percent of the Chinese population that reports themselves as the ever elusive “happy,” 82 percent of people in Denmark, say they’re “happy,” according to a recent Gallup World Poll, which showed China as the 125th happiest place in the world, reported China Daily.

The Gallup World Poll surveyed respondents in 155 countries between 2005 and 2009 and measured their overall satisfaction with their lives and daily experiences.

Although a small percentage of Chinese people rate themselves as happy, another survey done by research showed that almost “40 percent of Chinese people believe that happiness is determined by how wealthy a person is.”

Premier Wen Jiabao, in an online forum with Chinese netizens this past weekend, pledged to improve people's confidence in the future, saying "improving people's livelihood" was the key issue in the country's next five-year plan, which was being rubber stamped in Beijing this week at the meeting of the CPPCC.

Wen emphasized the issues "essential to people's happiness," which included ensuring social equality and justice, according to China Daily.

The government's 12th five-year plan being discussed at the National People’s Congress (NPC) and CPPCC meetings this weekend, will be a comprehensive plan that will mainly focus on the economy, focusing on helping the poor and disadvantaged in China as the country’s Gini coefficient, the measurement of the wealth gap in a country, continues to climb.

The session will also outline ways to develop China's new strategic industries such as alternative energy, high-end manufacturing, and low carbon technologies.

It will also have to address issues such as the shortage of labor in the country's coastal provinces.

A borough-bred Manhattanite, editor and writer Jessica Beaton lived in Shanghai for five years and has now moved to Hong Kong.

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