Hu told a meeting attended by top Communist Party leaders that despite rising prosperity, China was facing deepening social conflicts that would test the party’s ability to maintain firm control.
Hu did not mention the Internet-fed unrest that has shaken authoritarian governments across the Middle East and unseated Egypt’s long-time President Hosni Mubarak. But he told Chinese officials they needed to come to grips with “virtual society” in their nation with some 450 million Internet users.
“At present, our country has an important strategic window for development, but is also in a period of magnified social conflicts,” Hu told the meeting at the Central Party School in northwest Beijing, which trains rising leaders.
Among the steps Beijing had to take to counter these risks, Hu said, one was “further strengthening and improving management of the Internet, improving the standard of management of virtual society, and establishing mechanisms to guide online public opinion.”