Community governance is a key area in social governance in every country because it is a way for the state government to manage affairs closely related to the most direct participants of social activities, solving social contradictions and safeguarding social structure and order.
China, thanks to constant innovation in community governance, has kept up with the times and played a positive role in promoting economic development and social harmony and progress.
In China's rural areas, a village is the most basic unit, where the village Party branch or committee—the most primary-level Communist Party of China (CPC) organization—is set up. According to the law, a village is governed by its villagers, who can directly elect members of the villagers committee through voting. The village Party organization and villagers committee are in charge of the village's public affairs administration.
In cities, a neighborhood is the most basic social entity. It is managed by a residents committee. There is also a most primary-level Party organization. Based on relevant law, a neighborhood is governed by its residents, who elect members of the residents committee. The Party branch or committee and residents committee jointly manage public affairs.
Since reform and opening up was launched in 1978, along with China's rapid economic growth, free flow of population has become a normal trend, which is a huge progress in social development. However, social contradictions have also arisen. Social order, social structures and the ways people benefit from socio-economic development are undergoing profound adjustments. How to effectively manage the society through innovation to ensure that all citizens can enjoy better livelihoods and development opportunities, and maintain stability and vitality has always been the constant pursuit of the Chinese Government.
Through trials and explorations, China has adopted the current community governance pattern. The governing style is transforming from only state organ to a combination of state organ and the people themselves, while primary-level Party organizations lead as pioneers or examples.
This issue's cover story features the governance experience of Binhu Century Community, located in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province. It shows that the pattern is suitable for China at present. It also demonstrates primary-level social governance evolves with social and economic modernization, especially as the political system and people's education advance, and local officials will make continuous new progress in their service and governing capacities.
Binhu Century Community is just the epitome of China's primary-level social governance success. Some neighborhoods or villages do even better; and some, worse. It doesn't matter though. As long as local administrators work hard to push social development forward, the dream of building neighborhoods and villages into harmonious, orderly, civilized, innovative, and inclusive lands of happiness, made and shared by all, can be realized.