03/09/2009, 00.00
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For Wu Bangguo China will never adopt a Western-style democracy

A loyalist of former leader Jiang Zemin and now ranked two in the Communist Party hierarchy, Wu speaks out against greater democracy and respect for human rights in China. He reasserts the essential and inalienable role of the party in the country’s life.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China will never adopt a Western-style democracy and discussions about democracy and liberalisation should not weaken the Chinese Communist Party, this according to Wu Bangguo, ranked number two in the Communist Party hierarchy, who spoke today at the national People’s Congress, striking an uncompromising stance against demands for greater democracy and respect for human rights that are coming from even within the ranks of the Communist Party.

In a long speech Wu stressed that China will never “introduce a system of multiple parties holding office in rotation,” nor will it accept the separation of power between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, currently under the single thumb of the government.

He reiterated the view that the Communist Party will continue to lay down guidelines and that judges, prosecutors and every public office will have to “adhere to the line, principles and policies of the party.” The '”path of socialism with Chinese characteristics” will remain paramount.

In what seemed an answer to all those who believe that injustice leads to social tensions. Wu, a member of the Shanghai gang and a loyalist of former Jiang Zemin, quoted former leader Deng Xiaoping who said that “without the leadership of the party a big country like China would be torn by strife”.

The country has recently seen an upsurge of demands for greater democracy and respect for human rights as way, among other things, to quell mass protest.

An appeal in that direction entitled Charter 08 has been circulating around the country, gathering support even within the party, reflecting pro-democracy reforms proposed in the 1980s by then party secretary Zhao Ziyang whereby state and party and party and army would be separate, proposals that were nipped in the bud with Zhao’s removal from office just before the Tiananmen Square massacre.

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