An overwhelming majority of Chinese support political reforms to match China’s economic success,amid signs of official resistance to end the monopoly of the Communist party in the country’s politics.
Nearly eight out of 10 Chinese,who took part in a national poll said they believe China should stay on the path of political reform while according top priority to stability to avert a collapse similar to that of the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1991.
Significantly,the survey focused on political reform was conducted by the Global Poll Centre under the state-run Global Times,which is one of the organs of the People’s Daily,the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949,China’s Communist Party has monopolised political power.
The polls assumed significance as the People’s Daily in its editorial few days ago came out strongly against political reforms,saying the idea that China’s political reform is seriously lagging its remarkable economic development and achievements is contrary to objective facts.
Political change can’t have pompous and empty slogans,” it said.
It was interpreted by some as open opposition to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s recent calls for political reforms to back up the economic restructuring,dumping the erstwhile state-run-socialist economic system.
Wen said economic gains faced the danger of loosing out if they were not backed by political reforms.
He,however,has not outlined what he meant by political reform,whether it meant permitting multi-party democracy.
The campaign for political reform also gathered momentum after the recent award of Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo,the jailed Chinese dissident campaigning for democracy in China. Several senior Communist Party activists and academics called for lifting of censorship to expand the scope of free media in the country.
The poll conducted in Beijing,Shanghai,Guangzhou,Chengdu,Changsha,Xi’an and Shenyang from October 28 to 31,which is prominently featured in the Global Times,said a total of 78.4 per cent of the 1,327 respondents supported further political reform and just five per cent expressed an opposite opinion.
Another 16.7 per cent of respondents said they had no strong opinion on the subject.
In terms of the goal of political reform,both items -creating a democratic political system with Chinese characteristics and exploring development – were supported by more than 50 percent of the people.
Only 15.5 per cent felt a Western democratic political system should be implemented.