China has to pursue political reform to safeguard its economic health, Premier Wen Jiabao said during a visit to the booming town of Shenzhen, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Wen’s call for political reform lacked specifics. But his comments reflect broader worries that unless the Party embraces at least limited reforms to make officials more answerable, then corruption and abuses may erode the country’s economic prospects.
“Without the safeguarding of political restructuring, China may lose what it has already achieved through economic restructuring and the targets of its modernisation drive might not be reached,” Wen was quoted by Xinhua.
“People’s democratic rights and legitimate rights must be guaranteed. People should be mobilised and organised to deal with, in accordance with the law, state, economic, social and cultural affairs,” Wen added.
He also wants to “create conditions” to allow the people to criticise the government as a way to address “the problem of over-concentration of power with ineffective supervision.”