China Leadership Purge: Maoists Out, Liberals In

March 16th, 2012
in econ_news

Econintersect: In an uncharacteristic candor, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabo warned in a press conference on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 that China risks another tragedy like cultural revolution unless both economic and political reforms are carried out. Xinhua the official Chinese agency quotes Wen Jiabo warning:

"Reforms in China have come to a critical stage; without a successful political reform, it's impossible for China to fully institute economic reform and the gains made in these areas may be lost. New problems that popped up in the Chinese society will not be fundamentally resolved, and such historical tragedies as the Cultural Revolution may happen again in China....

...People must always bury in mind China's national circumstances and develop the socialist democracy in a step-by-step manner.

Follow up:

In a dramatic reversal of the current top down command process Wen advocates a bottoms up process:

"China will unswervingly implement the rural villagers' self-governance system and protect their legitimate rights of direct election. The practices at many villages showed farmers can succeed in directly electing villagers' committees."

In a frontal attack of the arm twisting Maoists methods he goes on to add :

"I believe China's democracy will develop in a step-by-step manner according to the national circumstances and the trend is unstoppable by any force."

The next day, the poster boy of the Maoist camp Bo Xilai, a contender to the Communist Party top post was sacked. However for the liberal Wang Yang, who many believe might get the top post the struggle is not over yet. Wan Yang has been praised for his peaceful handling of a village revolt over alleged land appropriation . The power struggle between the "new left" which Bo Xilai symbolizes and the liberals symbolized by Wan Yang is not over yet.

Wen Jiabo does not believe that the change is going to be smooth:
"We should encourage people to follow the path to experiment boldly and withstand tests in practice"
An earlier article in Econintersect had compared the top down command approach of China versus the bottoms up approach of India to drive economic development.

Wen says China needs political reform, warns of another Cultural Revolution: Xinhua
Bo Xilai’s Ouster Shows China Leaders Fear Specter of Mao: Bloomberg
China Purge Sets Up Scramble at Top: Wall Street Journal
Chindia- A Story Of Contrasts. A Perspective View from India: Econintersect

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