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China to carry out political reforms within Constitution: Wen

Wen said,underlining that freedom of speech is 'indispensable' for any country.

Written by Agencies | Beijing |
October 3, 2010 10:55:05 pm

China,where the Communist party has monopolised political power since its founding,will carry out political reforms after ensuring that conditions were right for such changes within the ambit of the Chinese Constitution,Premier Wen Jiabao has said.

Underlining that freedom of speech is “indispensable” for any country,Wen said the country would carry out political reforms in spite of some resistance after ensuring that conditions were created for its 1.3 billion people to lead a life of dignity,security and justice.

“I believe I and all the Chinese people have such conviction that China will make continues progress and the peoples wishes for and need for democracy and freedom are irresistible. I hope you will be able to gradually see the continuous progress of China,” Wen,68,told CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria in a rare and candid interview telecast today.

“Let every one lead a happy life with dignity. Let every one feel safe and secure and let the society be one with equity and justice until everyone has confidence in future in spite of the various discussions and views in society in spite of some resistance I will act in accordance with these ideals unswervingly and advance within the realm of my capabilities political restructuring,” Wen,who is ranked No 3 in the ruling Communist Party of China,said.

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To reaffirm his resolve to implement his beliefs,he said “I will not follow in spite of the strong wind and harsh rain and I will not yield till last day of my life”.

Asked about censorship,restrictions of freedom of speech in China,where the CPC has ruled since 1949,Wen said,”I believe freedom of speech is indispensable for any county,in the course of development and a country that has become strong.”

Wen said Chinese constitution has guaranteed freedom of speech which was practiced by its vast numbers of internet users.

“I do not think you know all about China on this point (freedom of speech).” In China there 400 million internet user and 800 million mobile phone subscriber and they can access the internet to express their views including critical views.

“I have often read sharp critical comments and also commendable words about the work of the government” on the net,Wen said.

“I often say that we should not only let people have the freedom of speech,more importantly must create conditions to let them criticise the work of the government. It is only when there is criticism and critical oversight from people the government will be in a position to do even a better job and employees of the government will be the true public servants of the people,” Wen said.

All this must be conducted with in the range allowed by the constitution and law so that country will have a normal order which is necessary for a large country like China with 1.3 billion people,he said.

Wen said he had done some “deep” thinking on issue like democracy and freedom of speech.

“My view is that a political party after it becomes ruling party should be somewhat different from the one when it was struggling for power. The biggest difference should be that this political party should act in accordance with constitution and law.”

“The policies and propositions of a political party can be translated into parts of constitution and laws through legal procedures. All political parties,people should abide by constitution and law without any exception. They must all act according to constitution and laws. I see that as defining feature of the modern political system of development,” Wen said.

Wen also defended his decision to praise of Hu Yobang,the former General Secretary of Chinese Communist Party,who was ousted in 1980 for his implementing political reforms and whose death in 1989 triggered off massive student uprising in Tiananmen square which was crushed with iron hand by the Chinese government.

He said Hu has made his own contribution to Chinese reform and opening by “vigorously advancing” reform process.

“Despite resistances,he took steps to free large number officials and cadres who were (part) around the cultural revolution,(led by Mao Zedong). He (HU) himself took actions to advance China’s reform and opening up,” Wen said.

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