Beijing (AsiaNews) - Bao Tong, a personal friend and a secretary to the late deposed Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, gave Premier Wen Jiabao an "F" grade. Despite his populist image, the latter failed to push for political reforms in China. One of China's most important analysts, he has been under house arrest since the Tiananmen Square massacre for his opposition and that of his boss to the military crackdown approved by Deng Xiaoping.
His views on the outgoing premier are found in a new book, 'A Collection of Essays,' released in Hong Kong on Tuesday by New Century Media. The collection contains more than 100 articles Bao wrote over the past decade on China's social and political life.
Bao gave Premier Wen Jiabao a failing grade after his last nationally televised press conference at the end of the government's annual legislative session ahead of October's change in Communist leadership.
"I gave Premier Wen's report a score of 59 [out of 100]. He would have received a passing grade if he earned another point," Bao wrote.
Bao's remarks echoed those of other analysts who said that Wen, touted as the people's premier, has served as the human face of the leadership to prevent Western-styled democracy in China.
For Bao, Wen cultivated a reformist image with the occasional eye-catching public remarks on the necessity of political reform. In fact, he toed the party line whilst choosing politically correct language all the time.
In the end, his "impromptu comments on political reform are largely a repetition of what late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping said before. He betrayed all of us," Bao noted.