Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao: democracy in China is ‘inevitable’
Outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says the country needs political reform to keep pace with economic development.
Mr Wen was speaking after what will be his last National People’s Congress as China’s Premier.
“As the economy developed, it has caused unfair distribution, the loss of credibility (for the government), corruption and other issues. I know that to solve these problems, it’s necessary to not only enter into economic reform but also political reform,” he said.
Mr Wen – considered the most progressive of China’s top nine leaders – has mentioned the need for political reform in one-party, authoritarian China before, but these are his strongest comments yet on the subject.
He retires next year along with President Hu Jintao after a decade in power which has seen China grow to become the world’s second biggest economy.
The outgoing Premier went on to call for freedom and real democracy in the country, saying the legitimate rights of those in villages to hold direct elections should be guaranteed.