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Chinese Premier Rules Out Democratic Reform in Near Future


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is ruling out plans to allow more democracy in China's near future because he says the country must focus first on economic development.

In a speech published by China's state-run media Tuesday, Mr. Wen said that China will remain in the primary state of socialism for a long time.

Mr. Wen did say, however, that China would develop its own democratic policies, and that a socialist system is not contradictory to those policies.

China's annual parliamentary session is to open next week, with economic reform and social issues expected to be a core focus.

China's economy has grown tremendously in recent years. But leaders of China's one-party system have carried out only limited democratic and political reforms.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.