China`s ruling CPC looking for `new phase of enlightment`

"China needs new phase of enlightenment," said an editorial in the Communist Party`s official organ.

Updated: Aug 23, 2012, 00:10 AM IST

Beijing: As it readies for the leadership change at its crucial Congress, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) is looking for a "new phase of enlightenment" for a secure future to build on the success of economic reforms after it abandoned the Maoist ideology over three decades ago.

"China needs new phase of enlightenment," said an editorial in the Communist Party`s official organ `Global Times`, calling on the intellectuals to "initiate" it.

"Chinese society needs a new round of enlightenment, or another emancipation of thought, to broaden our views and resist any spiritual suppression by outside values," the paper said, adding "it needs a large number of great thinkers and opinion leaders to initiate it."

The editorial came amid speculation that the party plans to hold its 18th Congress in the coming weeks in which a new set of leaders would be chosen.

While a spate of write-ups in the official media have already said that the party should carry on with the economic reform process with crackdown on corruption, concerns are mounting about steady decline of the GDP growth in the recent months following EU and US economic crises.

There were also concerns that the one-party fatigue is setting in among people and Vice President Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to succeed President Hu Jintao, held "brain- storming" sessions with groups of intellectuals and academicians about new ideas.

Important leaders of the party also held informal meetings at a town near here about the future policies of the party, whose more than 2,270 delegates have already been elected.

Also, the Congress is expected to be held soon as there is a sense of relief among the party leaders that the trial of Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced senior leader Bo Xilai over her involvement in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, is over. She got a suspended death sentence.

Bo, who was regarded as a rebel trying to pose a threat to the present leaders with campaigns to revive Maoist ideology, too is expected to go on trial at a later date.

Significantly, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today that officials in Beijing have "kicked off a campaign to root out illegal activities around Tiananmen Square, in the countdown to the upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC)."

A joint enforcement campaign involving several agencies has been launched to step up security at the square where the Great Hall of People, the likely venue of the Congress is located.

Orders have been given not to permit unlicensed vendors, illegal taxis and tour guides in the area, the report said.

Besides trouble from dissidents and petitioners, Chinese officials apprehend security threats from Uyghur militants and Tibetan protesters.