News / Asia

China’s New Leaders Facing Pressures to Reform

China’s New Leaders Facing Pressures to Reformi
|| 0:00:00
X
November 06, 2012
China begins a once-in-decade leadership transition this week when officials meet for the 18th Communist Party Congress on Thursday. The stakes are higher than previous transitions because of growing public concerns about corruption and the party’s lack of transparency. VOA’s William Ide reports from Beijing that how the new leaders will respond to the challenges remains a mystery.

China’s New Leaders Facing Pressures to Reform

TEXT SIZE - +
William Ide
— China begins a once-in-decade leadership transition this week when officials meet Thursday for the 18th Communist Party Congress. The stakes are higher than previous transitions because of growing public concerns about corruption and the party’s lack of transparency. Just how the new leaders will respond to the challenges remains a mystery.

As China gears up for its biggest political party in 10 years, its leaders are trying to keep the public focus on the party’s accomplishments and the country’s bright future.

The congress is the closest thing the communist country has to the excitement of political campaigns in democratic nations, where policies are discussed and debated ahead of time, said David Kelly of China Policy, a research group that monitors Chinese views on the economy, reform and other topics. 

“Even though we foresee at the moment without final confirmation that there will be a fairly conservative team, they are not facing routine questions, they are facing some momentous questions,” said Kelly.

China has seen growing tensions with its neighbors in recent months, in particular Japan, about disputed islands in the East China Sea. Its massive economy - the second largest in the world - also is facing uncertainties. Kelly said that has helped strengthen the case for reform.

“Reform in China is not a mild issue, it's going to hurt some people and benefit others. And the balance of these two is going to be decided by the people who now step up into politburo's standing committee and the other important parts of the party,” he said.

How much China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping is willing to make a break with the past is unclear. Xi’s father was politically prominent and that makes him what the Chinese call a "princeling."

Many people in China tend to view princelings as elitist. Chinese economist Hu Xingdou said princelings tend to be more reform-minded, though, than other party factions, which are cautious and afraid of losing power.

“The princelings are different, since they were kids they thought that this country was theirs, because it was their parents that laid the foundation for this world. For them the ownership is clear, this country is theirs,” said Hu Xingdou.

But some princelings, such as Bo Xilai, have taken that sense of entitlement to an extreme, and because of his case and countless others, there is growing public discontent in China about wealth inequality and corruption.

Bo was once a rising political star in China, who now faces a wide range of accusations from corruption and other wrongdoing. On Sunday, he was formally expelled from the Communist Party and is expected to soon face criminal charges.

Although most analysts say they do not expect to see any dramatic reforms from China’s new leaders right away, they do hope for more transparency.

One significant change would be for officials from the top to the bottom to make their finances public, said lawyer Wang Cailiang.

“The moment they open up the finances of public servants to public scrutiny and once they install a system like that, then it will be a very significant change for the Chinese public," said Wang. "There are many who hope for multiparty political system, but I don’t think that is key. The key here is that if you are a civil servant then you have to submit to public scrutiny. If you don't, you will have to step out of office.”

Analysts say that although there are many ways officials could make sure such changes never happen, popular sentiment for clean governance is growing.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid