Wen’s Calls for Political Reform Ignored Again
The Premier of China Wen Jiabao once again called for reform of the country’s sclerotic political system in late September—but experts are saying that, just like all the other times, it won’t go anywhere.
Wen Jiabao said in his speech at the Great Hall of the People on Sept. 30 that he strongly encourages reform in the “economic system, political system, cultural system, social system and other aspects.” (Though he later went on to say “Let us rally more closely with Comrade Hu Jintao… hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”)
The statement completes the eleventh utterance from Wen Jiabao for “political reform” in China.
But commentators don’t think the prospect is too viable. Hu Ping, a veteran of parsing Chinese politics, said that it’s impossible for the CCP to carry out serious political reforms.
“Wen has mentioned political reform so many times but only he says it; the other eight members of the Politburo Standing Committee say nothing, and retired leaders also don’t respond to his call.”
He added: “Obviously Wen does not have the power to push for reform on his own.”
Communist Party officials are afraid of political reform, Hu said, because of the numerous human rights abuses and corruption carried out by the regime—meaningful reform would require making these people accountable for their actions.
Wu Bangguo, China’s top legislator and a hardened apparatchik ranked second in the Party hierarchy, has already spoken out against Wen. During the National People’s Congress (NPC) assembly in March, Wu made clear there will be no change from one Party rule or any pluralization of ruling ideology.
Wang Juntao, the co-chairman of the China Democracy Party, said that whatever the cadre’s arguments, the CCP is already doomed, and most people clued in on that are just planning around that.
“Out of their own interests, some try to prolong the CCP’s life to gain more benefit. Others really don’t want to be remembered as criminals of history, or as someone associated with the CCP, so they try to do something.”
Wang said that there are two options. Either Wen’s statements are just for show, or if not it means that he may be trying to dissociate himself from the CCP, “hoping that when the CCP is brought to justice, he will be separate from it.”
Frank Xie, a China commentator and professor at the University of South Carolina, concurs with the idea that the Party is on its last legs.
He said that the economy is characterized by a real-estate bubble, a problematic private lending market, and company bankruptcies in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta. “Politically, people are furious about CCP’s misgovernment, the degeneration of moral values, and the total collapse of the social system. There is no one that can resolve all these,” he said.
Xie drew attention to the campaign to renounce the CCP, called tuidang, of which over 100 million individuals have taken part. “This is an indication that major changes will take place.”
With the regime’s credibility at a low point, the well-to-do, the ambitious, and many of the rich leaving the country, and masses of people renouncing the Party, Xie thinks “major changes will happen in China.”
Read the original Chinese article.