Scholars at the Central Party School have issued a "comprehensive political system reform plan" which warns that a failure to liberalize and ease political controls will lead to economic trouble and increased corruption. The report, titled ""Storming the Fortress: A Research Report on China's Political System Reform after the 17th Party Congress" was completed after the Party Congress but is only now publicly available. Reuters reports:
This is no manifesto for outright democracy. The authors say the Party must keep overall control and "elite" decision-making will help China achieve lasting economic prosperity by pushing past obstacles to economic reform.
But the 366-page report give a strikingly detailed blueprint of how some elite advisers see political relaxation unfolding, with three phases of reform in the next 12 years, including restricting the Party's powers and expanding the rights of citizens, reporters, religious believers and lawmakers.
"Until now political reform has been scattered and inconsequential," Wang Guixiu, a professor at the Party School not involved in the study, told Reuters. "Real political reform needs a substantive plan of action, and there are some scholars and officials who believe that's what is needed now."