China Communist Elder Issues Bold Call For Democracy – Chris Buckley
In a bold jab before a key meeting of China’s Communists, a 90-year-old former secretary to Mao Zedong has urged the Party to embrace democracy, saying that only political freedom can end instability and corruption.
Li Rui issued his demand for citizens’ rights and legal shackles on Party power in a Beijing magazine, China Across the Ages (Yanhuang Chunqiu), just over two weeks before President Hu Jintao opens the 17th Party Congress, which is set to give him five more years in power.
Hu cautiously has signaled modest political adjustments under strict one-party limits. But in a sign that liberal reformers may feel emboldened to press for bigger steps, Li argued that tinkering was not enough. [Full Text]