Bao Tong: Why China Had to Reform
Reforms, along with the Third Plenum of the 11th Chinese Communist Party Congress Central Committee [in December 1978], seem to be a hot topic at the moment. I too have some thoughts and memories to write down, some comparisons and criticisms. I would welcome the opportunity to debate them with anyone wishing to do so.
Where should I start? From the source of it all: namely, the reasons why there was no way forward but reform at this time.
Someone famous once said, “Not introducing reforms will take us down a blind alley.” This famous person has long since died.
Of course, it wasn’t said by Chen Yun, who favored a planned economy, nor was it said by Zhao Ziyang or Hu Yaobang, both of whom favored a market economy and political reform. No, it was said by the biggest name of that era: Deng Xiaoping.