The essays contain devastating language. They will agitate China’s leaders because of Bao’s status as a veteran comrade speaking out while thousands of workers lose their jobs as a result of the world recession. The essays appeared as the party was celebrating 30 years of the “reform and opening-up” policy instituted by Deng, who died in 1997.
[…] Bao has published criticism in the past but the timing and vigour of his essays are particularly damaging to President Hu Jintao, who has promised a “harmonious society” to be guaranteed by political control.
There appears to be uncertainty, and perhaps division, at the top about how to respond to peaceful critics drawn from all classes. Security agents have detained some signatories of Charter 08.