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Chinese premier warns of possible recurrence of Cultural Revolution

Central News Agency

2012/03/14 22:47:19

Beijing, March 14 (CNA) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned Wednesday that social problems in China, if left unresolved, could lead to another tragic Cultural Revolution.

Wen issued his warning at a press conference closing the meeting of the National People's Congress and an adjunct political organization in Beijing.

The Communist Party of China, which has ruled mainland China since 1949, has concluded that the Cultural Revolution launched by Mao Zedong from 1966-1976 was a "disastrous domestic turmoil."

Mainland Chinese often use the term "a decade of holocaust" to refer to that tragic period of China's recent history.

Wen's very mention of the possibility of a recurrence of that unhappy time of Chinese history could cast a shadow over China's future.

On why he has such a worry, Wen said China still has not shed the "bad influences" of the Cultural Revolution and China's feudalistic past.

With its astounding economic development came such problems as unequal distribution of wealth, official corruption and a growing distrust of the government, he said.

Wen said, China must reform not only its economic system but also its political systems, "particularly the party and the state's leadership system."

Without achieving success in the reformation of China's political system, it is impossible to carry through its economic reform and even hard-earned achievements of its economic reform so far could not be retained, Wen said.

New social problems arising from the failure to stem political corruption could lead to a recurrence of "such historical tragedy as the Cultural Revolution," he said.

From a Western point of view, China's unique system of "party leadership" -- in which party officials act concurrently as top leaders at government agencies and state-owned enterprises -- is a dictatorial system that is plagued with the lack of a check-and-balance mechanism.

In such a system, if the country's paramount leader makes a misjudgment, it would be difficult to correct because no one is there to check and balance his wrong decision, and Cultural Revolution-style chaos is likely to ensue.

Wen said China is a big country with 1.3 billion people. To build a "socialist democracy" in such a huge and complicated country, all sorts of reform must be undertaken "step by step."

However, there can be no delay on the road of reform, he said. There will be "no way out for China" if it keeps delaying or setting back its reform programs, he said.

(By Huang Chi-kuan, Chiu Kuo-chiang and S.C. Chang)

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