China Leader Encourages Criticism of Government

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by ajtr, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    China Leader Encourages Criticism of Government


    SHANGHAI — Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is known for his populist approach and near constant presence in Chinese headlines. He often races to the scene of natural disasters to comfort survivors. On state-run television, he can be seen eating with the poor in rural villages. Though often stage-managed by Chinese news media, his common touch has earned him the nickname “Grandpa Wen.”

    But this week, the 68-year-old prime minister made what many analysts consider a bolder statement: he appeared at the nation’s top petition bureau in Beijing, where people go to file grievances, and encouraged citizens to criticize the government and press their cases for justice.

    “We are the people’s government, and our power is vested upon us by the people,” the prime minister said during the visit, according to state-run news media. “We should use the power in our hands to serve the interest of the people, helping them to tackle difficulties in a responsible way.”

    The crucial factor was the setting. The national petition bureau is known as a lightning rod for anger about official corruption, illegal land seizures, labor disputes and complaints of all sort, the kind of problems that reveal China’s continuing weakness on the rule of law. In a nation that fiercely snuffs out any sign of dissent or challenges to the ruling Communist Party, the government sometimes deems it appropriate to detain petitioners here or to forcibly send them back home.

    But on Wednesday, the state-run news media showed images of the prime minister meeting two days earlier with a small group of petitioners at the bureau, officially known as the State Bureau for Letters and Calls. The state-controlled media reports said he encouraged government workers to handle the petitioner cases properly.

    Mr. Wen also instructed officials to make it easier for citizens to criticize and monitor the government. The reports said it was the first time a prime minister had appeared at the bureau to meet petitioners since the founding of the Communist state in 1949.

    In recent months, Mr. Wen has appeared to press for political reform, though analysts are uncertain about whether he is pushing on his own or with the support of a broader segment of the nation’s leadership.

    The media gave prominent display to articles about the visit on Wednesday, and blogs and Internet forums in China were buzzing with chatter about the visit.

    More than 6,000 postings about the visit appeared on the popular Web site Netease.com, many of them praising the prime minister.

    But there was also some criticism. On Sina.com’s popular Chinese microblog, someone named Langzi wrote, “Shouldn’t Wen be more concerned about how laws and rules are enforced?” Another blogger added, “Chinese people are still dreaming that a lord will come and implement justice.”

    Lu Yuegang, a journalist who writes about the plight of petitioners, called Mr. Wen’s visit a positive move but said the petition system was flawed and that the government should abolish it and work on implementing the rule of law with judicial independence.

    “The petition system has almost zero effect,” he said in an interview. “Most petitions received by the state bureau are sent back to the local governments, the place where the cases originate. The system is not a problem-solving system but a receiving-and-forwarding system. And it just recycles the cases. This is the core problem.”

    And Phelim Kine, Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said that Mr. Wen had become adept at showing his concern for the poor but that the nation’s legal system was still ineffective, the very reason so many petitioners travel to Beijing.

    “Premier Wen consistently talks the talk on the crucial issues facing China,” Mr. Kine said in a telephone interview. “But can the government really make the changes necessary to fix a broken system?

    “The court system doesn’t work, and these people can’t get legal redress.”
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Wen may be sincere in his desire.

    However, one wonders how far the people will go to criticise policies of the Govt.

    They do criticise local and small time functionaries.

    Therefore, is he meaning the CCP or the local govts?
     
  4. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hehe unfolding events in Middle East scared them but good this shows they are fast to adapt to changing situations.

    Until the economy grows even if they don't provide a democratic system it will sustain its only when people have rising food prices that will become dangerous.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The areas of contention are

    1. the widening gap between the rural and urban divide.

    2. disparity in the development of the coastal area and the areas in the hinterland, especially to the West.

    3. the incorrect compensation paid for land acquisition in the rural areas.

    Maybe some Chinese poster could correct this.
     
  6. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    All of this could be equally relevant for the Indian context plus we have rising Naxalites and other internal armed struggle which the Chinese do not have..
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    True.

    There is a slight difference. If you notice the posts of the Chinese members. Their basic quotient for happiness is MONEY. That is not so in India. We still, especially in the rural areas, tend to be fatalistic.

    As far as low compensation on acquiring of land, we have the courts and we have Mamata Bannerjee type of politics!
     
  8. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Most of time China has law of rule where as India has rule of law
     
  9. luke

    luke Regular Member

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    The house price and inflation is the most frequently complain about this year.As for the 3 you mentioned,I think you want to say forced evictions.Also have corruption, abuse of authority etc.We like call China is a magic kingdom,anything can be happened.
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Luke,

    Thanks.

    What is the latest done to bridge the gap between the rural and urban development?

    What are the issues that are worrying to the common Chinese?

    I was reading a piece about rural area, where though it had become rich and the village people were all stakeholders, it was the CCP man who was the Mayor who had the maximum stake and he was the actual beneficiary and not the common villagers.

    Is that correct?

    I will search my archives and see if I can give you the source of this information,
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  11. kickok1975

    kickok1975 Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Action speaks louder than talk. Chinese government showed again and again how little tolerance they have for people to criticize them.
     
  12. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    The CCP has to devise a mechanism to ease out steam.Generally democracy,Freedom of speech and a free media are the valves used to let off steam other wise the boiler will blow with a bang
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Even here I think the CCP will
    "teach" how much to criticize and what points to etc... Pretty contradictory and kinda sham when you want to control all information and thought and then want people to learn to criticize when you can take none. May be its a bait to catch dormant voices. Never know with china.
     
  14. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    After reading this i can make 2 points.

    Make the any hell of govt, it is no problem.
    If you gonna p*ss around CCP, then your are p*ssed.
     
  15. luke

    luke Regular Member

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    Well,what I know is that:1.Removed the agricultural tax(this has been implemented for many years)2.offer agricultural subsidies to response to rising prices of agricultural goods, mainly fertilizer.(70-80yuan/acre in my hometown,I just get it from my father)3.build the rural pension system,every person who is more than 60 year old can get pension (60 yuan/month)4.build the new rural cooperative medical system
    what I say come from my the fact of my hometown,I think other place is same as us.The richer place ,the local government maybe will increase the subsidy.
    This is hard to say:for me,I‘m a man come from countryside but plan to live in city,so the house price is what many people like me worry about.This year the rapidly rising prices maybe is what common Chinese worry about.
    Oh,you know I’m thinking about if start a post to describe the status of my hometown.Though I live in the countryside,but the farm land of my hometown has sold because of the urban expansion recent years.China's ruling party is ccp,so if there're corrupt government officials,of course they're CCP man.So I think it's right.But I don't know why he was the actual beneficiary ,I think they get rich by corruption.
    My English isn't well,so I hope it isn't too long.Lol!
    I'm going to stick the couplet,haha!
     
  16. luke

    luke Regular Member

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    Well,what I know is that:1.Removed the agricultural tax(this has been implemented for many years)2.offer agricultural subsidies to response to rising prices of agricultural goods, mainly fertilizer.(70-80yuan/acre in my hometown,I just get it from my father)3.build the rural pension system,every person who is more than 60 year old can get pension (60 yuan/month)4.build the new rural cooperative medical system
    what I say come from my the fact of my hometown,I think other place is same as us.The richer place ,the local government maybe will increase the subsidy.
    This is hard to say:for me,I‘m a man come from countryside but plan to live in city,so the house price is what many people like me worry about.This year the rapidly rising prices maybe is what common Chinese worry about.
    Oh,you know I’m thinking about if start a post to describe the status of my hometown.Though I live in the countryside,but the farm land of my hometown has sold because of the urban expansion recent years.China's ruling party is ccp,so if there're corrupt government officials,of course they're CCP man.So I think it's right.But I don't know why he was the actual beneficiary ,I think they get rich by corruption.
    My English isn't well,so I hope it isn't too long.Lol!
    I'm going to stick the couplet,haha!
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Luke,

    Thanks.

    It was a help.
     

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