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Are the rules of the game changing in China? Ian Johnson says…

Posted on the October 25th, 2010

Since my post about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent exclusive CNN interview (and visit to Europe) earlier this month, I’ve been searching online for informed commentary that offers some perspective and context for the Premier’s statements. A post written by Ian Johnson last week for The New York Review of Books‘ blog is a good start for that, I think (“Rumblings of Reform in Beijing?” Oct 20, 2010).

Johnson comprehensively sums up the recent six weeks of speculation and news about what may or may not be happening within China’s leadership in regard to possible political reform.

In particular, regarding some statements by Wen in his CNN interview that seemed to offer hope for more freedom of speech for the Chinese citizenry, Johnson writes:

Then what about Premier Wen’s calls for voting and free speech? There’s a famous picture of him in Tiananmen Square in May 1989, shortly before the army moved in. He’s standing next to former party secretary Zhao Ziyang—the reformer who addressed the student protestors sympathetically on the eve of the crackdown—whom Wen served loyally. Many say that the premier was harkening back to those heady days when he was firmly in the reformist camp, and that with just two years left on his term he wants to go down in history as a reformist.

But the photo also reminds us how weak Premier Wen really is…

Read the full post here.

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