A new surge of demands for liberal political reform added an unexpected twist to deliberations at today's annual policy making meeting for leaders from the ruling Communist Party of China.
Leading the charge has been Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has repeatedly, if cautiously, argued the need for political change in recent months.Source: Christian Science MonitorOne letter, a remarkable plea by 23 former senior officials, including a former secretary to Mao Zedong, urged an end to press censorship. Another, signed by a wide range of liberal intellectuals, called for the release of imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo, who last week won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The press here in the West may be skeptical, but I think this kind of pressure will have a major impact. Many groups have been pushing reform from within the government and from outside the government. China's next generation of leaders seem to be more liberal-minded and that probably means we will see more notable reforms. Of course, one should dispel the notion that they will ever adopt the system of Western democracy as other nations in the region have.