WEN JIABAO PLEDGES REFORM IN FINAL YEAR OF OFFICE AS CHINA'S PREMIER
CHINA's Premier Wen Jiabao has issued a dark warning about the urgent need for democratic reforms in the one-party state.
The Australian, March 14, 2012
Without reform, Mr Wen warned, China risked a repeat of the deadly chaos of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 70s.
In his final official press conference for a job he has held for the past nine years, Mr Wen promised further reforms for the country's currency, the hot button for anti-China sentiment in the United States, as well as ways to address imbalances between the world's two largest economies.
"I have, on more than one occasion, proposed that (we) must unswervingly implement autonomy for villagers and protect the legitimate rights of villagers to hold direct elections," Mr Wen said. "We should follow this path by encouraging the people to be bold in practice.
"I believe China's democratic system will, in accordance with China's national conditions, develop in a step-by-step way. No force can stop this."
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