The song that never ends. People’s Daily seems to slam Wen

The People’s Daily — mouth piece of the Chinese Communist Party — apparently doesn’t think much of the pronouncements of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The New York Times reports that the paper rejected any calls for political reform. People’s Daily published a front-page commentary that said changes in China’s political system should not follow Western ideas but rather should “consolidate the party’s leadership so that the party commands the overall situation.”

To be honest I was waiting for the battle to become more public between the reformers and the hardliners who control the propaganda arm of the CCP.

In an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, Wen stated clearly that China could not progress unless it loosened its censorship rules.

In a bit of bad timing — from a PR perspective — one week after Wen made this dramatic statement, the Nobel Prize committee awarded its Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Lu Xiabo for arguing exactly the same thing.

But it is one thing when the premier says it and another when a “convict” says it.

The first step came when the Chinese censors ordered all Internet sites to remove the CNN/Wen interview.

And now the party’s paper is attacking the party leadership.

“The idea that China’s political reform is seriously lagging behind its remarkable economic development is not only contrary to the law of objectivity but also to the objective facts,” it stated.

It later added: “In promoting political reform, we shouldn’t copy the Western political system model; shouldn’t engage in something like multiparty coalition government or separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches. We should stick to our own way.”

And I guess “our own way” is “shut up or be jailed.”

Wonder how long Wen will last. Or is he a slick enough politician to out maneuver the hardliners?

This is going to be fun to watch.

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Filed under Censorship, China, International News Coverage, Press Freedom

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