March 14th, 2012
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Wen Jiabao calls for urgent reforms; warns of Cultural Revolution

Wen-JiabaoBeijing: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao who was speaking after his last National People’s Congress news conference warned that a Cultural Revolution could be let loose upon the country if they fail to carry out structural corrections. He opined that structural political reform was required to improve the country’s governance. “Without a successful political structural reform it is impossible for us to fully institute economic structural reform and the gains we have made in this area may be lost,” he said.

The Premier is set to step down later this year after being in power for almost a decade, to pave the way for new leadership. Surprisingly Mr Wen Jiabao called the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong a “historical tragedy” and stated that it had virtually paralyzed the country.

“After the crackdown on the gang of four (Mao’s wife and her supporters in 1976), our party adopted the resolution on several historical matters and took the important decision of conducting reform and opening in China. However the mistake of Cultural Revolution and the impact of feudalism are yet to be fully eliminated,” he said. “If the new problems that have cropped up in China’s society is not fundamentally resolved then such historical tragedies such as the Cultural Revolution may happen again,” he warned.

The Cultural Revolution was a socio-political movement that took place in the People’s Republic of China from 1966 through 1976 and was introduced by Mao Zedong . Its stated goal was to enforce socialism in the country by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society, and to impose Maoist orthodoxy within the Party. The movement politically paralyzed the country and significantly affected the country economically and socially.

Though he has not elaborated much on the political reforms, he said there should be conditions for people to criticize the government policies so that it can correct its policies. Reforms, he added, had to be ”gradual and orderly” and were essential for the country’s economy.

China’s decision to cut its economic growth target to 7.5% for 2012 was essential to sustain growth, he added. He also spoke on US-China trade links, relations with Taiwan and said that China would step up currency reform.

As he began the news conference, he was visibly emotional, saying that he was ”sorry” for economic and social problems in the last decade. As the leader of the country, he said, he ”should assume responsibility” for the problems in the country during his time in office.”There is still room for improvement in my work,” said the leader

“As economy continues to be developing such new problems like income disparities, lack of credibility and corruption has occurred. I am fully aware to resolve these problems we must press ahead with both economic and political structural reforms in particularly reform in the leadership system of our party and country,” he said.

The Premier said that reform can only go forward because neither status quo nor going back was an option. “I would like to tell you with a single breath I fully dedicate to   advance China’s reform and opening up cause,” he said.


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