Analysis: Wang Yang's Bold Push for Reform
Created: 2012-05-21 21:06 EST
Guangdong’s Party Secretary Wang Yang has been drumming up calls for political reform.
First, on May 9th, he rejected a notion that’s been instilled by the Communist Party, by declaring that the people’s happiness is not given by the Party. Days later he said the power of authorities is given by the people, and those who personally benefit from that power will be denounced by the public.
On May 17th, local media published a research paper by Wang. In it the Party Secretary called for a government that’s small on management, but big on service. He also said the government and society’s self-governing structures should work together. Wang says these measures would ensure the continued development of China’s southern economic hub.
These concepts of taking power away from those in power, and giving it to the people would address the problem the public's discontent over the abuse of power by their rulers. But it's also a bold move under a regime's that, as a whole, has shown no willingness to share its power.
NTD Senior China Analyst Wen Zhao says Wang Yang’s words do offer some hope of change from those wanting to push ahead with reform – but he says the devil is in the details.
[Wen Zhao, NTD Senior China Analyst] :
“Specifically to what degree this can be achieved? We need to look at two things. He talks about taking the power back from the government, what are the parameters? What administrative procedures can be handed off to the society? Also, if society could self-govern, under which domains could this take place?
Wen Zhao also warns that the unstable nature of the Chinese regime’s rule means any reform measures could be easily rebuffed. He says a system overhaul is needed for any change to be permanent.
[Wen Zhao, NTD Senior China Analyst]:
“Only if this system is changed fundamentally, like if the one-party dictatorship ends, and there is judiciary independence, and the media and public discourse can play a supervisory role, this would result in a tangible progression of society, something that cannot be turned around.”
Wang Yang is one of the contenders of the Chinese Communist Party’s top ruling circle, the Politburo Standing Committee. Membership of this committee will be changed later this year, and it's currently at the center of an intense power struggle.