China, where the Communist party has monopolised political power since its founding, will carry out political reforms after ensuring that conditions were right for such changes within the ambit of the Chinese Constitution, Premier Wen Jiabao has said.
Underlining that freedom of speech is "indispensable" for any country, Wen said the country would carry out political reforms in spite of some resistance after ensuring that conditions were created for its 1.3 billion people to lead a life of dignity, security and justice.
"I believe I and all the Chinese people have such conviction that China will make continues progress and the peoples wishes for and need for democracy and freedom are irresistible. I hope you will be able to gradually see the continuous progress of China," Wen, 68, told CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria in a rare and candid interview telecast today.
"Let every one lead a happy life with dignity. Let every one feel safe and secure and let the society be one with equity and justice until everyone has confidence in future in spite of the various discussions and views in society in spite of some resistance I will act in accordance with these ideals unswervingly and advance within the realm of my capabilities political restructuring," Wen, who is ranked No 3 in the ruling Communist Party of China, said.
To reaffirm his resolve to implement his beliefs, he said "I will not follow in spite of the strong wind and harsh rain and I will not yield till last day of my life".
Asked about censorship, restrictions of freedom of speech in China, where the CPC has ruled since 1949, Wen said, "I believe freedom of speech is indispensable for any county, in the course of development and a country that has become strong." Wen said Chinese constitution has guaranteed freedom of speech which was practised by its vast numbers of internet users.
"I do not think you know all about China on this point (freedom of speech)." In China there 400 million internet user and 800 million mobile phone subscriber and they can access the internet to express their views including critical views. "I have often read sharp critical comments and also commendable words about the work of the government" on the net, Wen said.