China will never become a Western-style democracy, the head of the country’s rubber-stamp parliament said on Monday, an apparent response to renewed calls for political reform from both inside and outside the country.
In an address to the annual nine-day meeting of the National People’s Congress, Wu Bangguo laid out extensive arguments seeking to justify China’s one-party communist system and draw clear distinctions with multi party political systems in the West.
China, he said, would never introduce a system of “multiple parties holding office in rotation,” nor would it allow a separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, or a legislature made up of lower and upper houses.
Wu’s remarks emphasizing the primacy of the “path of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” appeared to be a deliberate rebuttal to critics at home and abroad calling for greater liberalization, including legalising opposition parties and direct elections for legislative bodies.
His remarks on the issue were considerably longer than in last year’s address, in which he made only passing reference to China’s rejection of separation of powers and a bicameral system.