China's new leadership rules out political reforms
Beijing: Citing fast-paced economic success in the last 30 years, a top Chinese official on Monday firmly ruled out opening up China's one-party system for political reforms, which outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao had last year said was a dire necessity for the Communist giant's future.
As the 3,000-strong rubber stamp legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC) is set to meet tomorrow to complete the power transfer to a new generation of leaders, NPC spokesperson Fu Ying said China's political model was a proven success and there is no need to change it.
She made it clear that the reform and opening up would continue on the economic front but not in the political arena.
China will not copy other countries' models in its drive for political reforms, Fu told a media conference outlining the new government's policies.
A team of new leaders headed by Xi Jinping would take over the reins of power this week from the retiring administration headed by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
"Whether we copy other models, the answer is no. China has already found a road appropriate for the country and is making headway. Therefore, we have no reason not to go along this road," Fu said.
"China has identified correct path of development and this path has proven successful and there is no reason why we should not continue our work on this path," she said.
Fu's assertions were in sharp contrast to remarks made by outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao last year during the NPC meet.
"Reform in China has come to a critical stage. Without a successful political structural reform it is impossible for us to fully institute economic structural reforms and the gains we have made in this area may be lost," 70-year-old Wen had said.
"New problems that have cropped up in China's society which will not be fundamentally resolved and such historical tragedy as the Cultural Revolution may happen again," he had warned.
Significantly, Wen had said he would carry on his struggle for reforms even after his retirement.
For her part, Fu put up a strong defence of the present system saying that 30 years of economic reforms had changed China.
China is among handful countries which is committed to continuous reforms and opening up, she said reminding of times when Chinese had to survive on food stamps.
"Reform is extensive in China. Practices show our reforms are successful at the same time we are confronted with real challenges and difficulties," she said.