Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series
Chapter 8: Enforcement of corporate social responsibility in a Harmonious Society
In 2005, former Chinese President Hu Jintao instituted the ëHarmonious Societyí policy by establishing a new approach towards development in China. Hu instructed the countryís leading officials and Party cadres to place ëbuilding a Harmonious Societyí at the top of their agendas, in order to build a society which puts people first. The programme is based on the goals of building a well-off society and creating a new socialist situation. The purpose of building the Harmonious Society is to overcome the drawbacks of the immature and incomplete market within the Chinese socialist market economy, and to solve current and potential problems facing ërural areas, farmers and agriculture, the drainage of farmland, heavy pressure in the workplace and an incomplete social security systemí. It is a policy to tackle a formidable challenge: managing 1.3 billion people with enormous diversity and across a massive territory. Over 2000 companies are listed on stock exchanges in China; most of these have been converted from state-owned enterprises (SOEs). With its recent rapid economic progress, China has now replaced Japan as the worldís second largest economy. Business evolution and development and corporate behaviours in China will certainly continue to capture the attention of many during the next decade. There is plenty of evidence which shows that the Chinese government is seeking to foster cooperation between business and society with an expectation of positive responses from companies.
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