Tracking “Political Reform” in China

China Media Project looks at discussions of political reform in China, after many observers were disappointed by the short shrift given the issue by the Hu Jintao administration:

The issue is now back in the spotlight. Why? Because Premier Wen Jiabao (温家宝) said on a recent visit to Shenzhen to commemorate the city’s 30th anniversary that: “We need not only to promote economic reform, but must also promote political system reforms. Without the guarantee provided by political system reforms, the results of economic reform will be lost, and the goal of modernization cannot be achieved.”

Was this a bold and forward-thinking statement from the Premier? Did Grandpa Wen go off script?

No, not really.

Any statement on political reform is significant. And at the very least, Wen’s statement offers an opportunity for Chinese media to push more searchingly on this issue. But let’s not forget, either, that Wen Jiabao said the exact same thing during this year’s National People’s Congress back in June, when he delivered his government work report.

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