Chinese Communists dash hopes of democratic reform – Jonathan Watts

From The Guardian:

Hopes for political reform in China have suffered a setback with the publication of the government’s first white paper on democracy – a document that despite its name reaffirmed the Communist party’s determination to cling to power and postpone the introduction of elections.

The white paper was issued by the cabinet amid rising tensions in the countryside and calls from western leaders for Beijing to adjust its archaic system of governance so that it keeps pace with the spectacular changes in the economy.

But initial optimism that President Hu Jintao and the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, might be any more willing than their predecessors to implement political reform were dashed by the 12-part document, which defined China as a “democratic dictatorship” in which the Communist party had been chosen by history to play a leading role.

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