Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Quote from Wen Jiabao on elections

Premier Wen Jiabao made the following comment on Tuesday according to a Reuters Article:

"We are confident that when the people are capable of running a village through direct election, they will later be able to run a township, then a county and a province, true to the principle that our country is run by the people."

He made almost the exact same comments last year before a China-EU summit, when he said of village elections, "If the Chinese people can manage a village, I believe in several years they can manage a township" (see the Asia Times article China Looks to Democracy to Cure Its Ills).

Who are these remarks directed at? And what exactly does it commit China to?

4 comments:

Sherry said...

The level of democracy is only one indicator of the changes in China, and it won't lead to anywhere unless the whole system is purified by systmeatic reforms, more importantly, a reform of social attitude.

Manfred said...

Yes, and democracy is more than elections. I think it includes attitudes and use of space, too.

giscard said...

Well, at a certain fundmental level, democracy is also the space (to use Manfred's formulation) to debate freedom(s). To that extent Wen's statement is interesting. What are the implications in terms of policy changes and in terms of shifting intellectual and attitudinal trends?

Powell said...

Yes, and democracy is more than elections. I think it includes attitudes and use of space, too.