Open letter, petition warn of “violent revolution,” “chaos” if no political reform
On the footsteps of an AP article about a petition warning against “revolution and chaos,” Reuters has just reported on an open letter signed by 73 scholars calling for reform, or else.
“If reforms to the system urgently needed by Chinese society keep being frustrated and stagnate without progress, then official corruption and dissatisfaction in society will boil up to a crisis point and China will once again miss the opportunity for peaceful reform, and slip into the turbulence and chaos of violent revolution,” they wrote.
Reuters notes that the letter began circulating earlier this month but has since been censored.
Meanwhile, here’s AP’s story from December 26:
More than 70 prominent Chinese scholars and lawyers have urged the country’s new Communist Party leaders to undertake moderate political reforms including separating the party from government, though they avoid any mention of ending one-party rule.
The petition drafted by Peking University law professor Zhang Qianfan calls on the party to rule according to the constitution, protect freedom of speech, encourage private enterprise and allow for an independent judicial system. It also calls for the people to be able to elect their own representatives without interference from the Communist Party.
The petition was released on Christmas Day. Its connection to the open letter is unclear for now.
Neither the petition nor the open letter will be publicly discussed, of course. If reform is to happen in this country, it’ll be on the government’s terms. We sit, wait, and hope.