Expert Blames Privileged Groups for China's Wealth Gap

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A Chinese professor has warned that interest groups in the Chinese regime are hindering the fair distribution of wealth in the country, and he's calling for reform. Others say the problem will not go away unless officials are held accountable through mechanisms like transparency and voting.

At Sunday's 2011 China's Reform Annual Meeting in Beijing, Professor Wang Yukai from the Chinese Academy of Governance called for reform to break up three major interest groups that he blames for causing the country's wealth gap. Professor Wang says individuals in these groups, many with ties to the Communist Party, have used their positions to amass personal interest at the expense of the public.

According to Professor Wang, the three groups are: power wielding Communist officials, officials involved in monopolized industries and tycoons involved in real estate and resources.

Shandong-based retired professor Sun Wenguang believes the problem is that there's no supervision on how officials exercise power.

[Sun Wenguang, Retired Professor]:
"In six decades, Communist officials have always been appointed. The People's Representatives are for show only. The public has no say at all about the appointment and removal of officials, and so they are not restricted. Power without restraint will of course lead to corruption."

Professor Wang Yukai believes breaking up the power structure of these groups is key to a more fair distribution of wealth. Dr. Liu Kaimin from the Shenzhen-based Institute of Contemporary Observation says one solution is to establish a proper election system.