“Zheng Qingyuan” writes on political reform in the People’s Daily
Within one week of the conclusion of Fifth Plenum of 17th Congress of CPC Central Committee, a series of articles on political reform has appeared in the Chinese official newspaper People’s Daily. A popular newspaper Beijing Morning Post points out that name of the so-called famous author Zheng Qingyuan did not appear before in the Chinese media. The last article of the series titled “Vigorous and steady drive to advance political structural reform following the correct political lines” has been published on October 27, which has created public debate. This article reiterates and justifies the correctness of CPC’s political line since the early reform period.
There are other fictitious authors who write commentaries on major issues in the People’s Daily. These types of articles bear immense significance because they represent CPC’s actual position on a particular issue and the authority wants that people should debate on the topic. This is a process of consensus building among the people as well as a means of knowing public reaction to CPC’s ideological position.
CPC usually eschews the contentious issue of political reform, but this time it feels the urge of initiating a controlled-debate on political reform, because last summer Premier Wen Jiabao himself opened the lid and let the jinn of political reform come out during the 30th anniversary of establishment of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Shenzhen. Some high ranking CPC cadres like Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang were forced to go into oblivion for raising the issue publicly. Wen Jiabao’s comment on political reform before two years of his retirement created differences between the premier and the President Hu Jintao. The Fifth Plenum of the party decided to persist on the earlier political line of people’s democratic dictatorship and party’s leadership. But it is neither easy to sideline a heavy weight like Wen Jiabao, nor suppress the debate on political reform in the present political situation.
The October 28 edition of the People’s Daily carries a few comments on Zheng Qingyuan’s article. These comments are basically extension of the article and highlights that correct direction must be taken to carry out political structural reform in China. China should pursue it own course of political reform according to its national situation and historical precedence. Through this controlled-debate CPC wants to disseminate a message that it is capable of guiding China and build a rich and powerful modern nation with “democratic civilization” and harmonious socialist society.
沿着正确政治方向积极稳妥推进政治体制改革 – 三论牢牢抓住历史机遇，全面建设小康社会
The US ambassador in China Jon Huntsman expressed regards to Liu Xiaobo
On October 25, the US Ambassador Jon Huntsman delivered a public talk on participatory democracy of America in Sanwei Bookstore in Beijing. The Sanwei Bookstore is one of the important meeting places where the liberal intellectuals of the city assemble once in a week for discussion. It is one of the oldest salons in Beijing’s history. Jon Huntsman’s visit to the bookstore is highly significant and symbolic, and it is the first time that a foreign diplomat talked openly about this year’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo on the Chinese soil. It is important to note here that last December Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to imprisonment by a Chinese court for writing a pro-democracy document, Charter 2008. For about forty minutes Huntsman talked on American political system and electoral procedure at the grass root level. During the question session when someone asked about Liu Xiaobo, Huntsman replied that what ever might be the public opinion about Liu and the worth of Nobel Peace Prize, the American people have high regards for him because of his personal initiative to struggle for democracy and freedom.
He further emphasized that it was a great achievement that a free discussion was possible here at the bookstore and this symbolizes healthy political development in China. Ambassador Huntsman jokingly told that China have to be thick skinned like America and be open to criticism.
Prison Compensation is a challenge to anti-corruption activities
Recent investigations in Zhejiang province reveals that corrupt officials and party leaders get prison compensation from their partner in bribery and other financial crimes during the prison term. Various types of money flow inside prisons in China are not a new phenomenon, but prison compensation has recently become a hot topic. The punished corrupt officials are as if enjoying full pay retirement facilities. This has made anti-corruption measures a useless exercise.