Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Speaks on ‘People’s Democracy’

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao spoke about “socialist democracy” and improving supervision of the government in a speech to the Royal Society in London yesterday.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency distributed a transcript of the speech.

“Tomorrow’s China will be a country that fully achieves democracy, the rule of law, fairness and justice.

“The struggles against feudal autocracy in the human history gave birth to the concepts of democracy, the rule of law, freedom, equality and human rights.

“These ideas have greatly emancipated the human mind, although they may be achieved in different ways and forms in different societies and countries.

“People’s democracy is the soul of socialism. Without democracy, there is no socialism. Without freedom, there is no real democracy. Without guarantee of economic and political rights, there is no real freedom.

“Corruption, unfair income distribution and other ills that harm people’s rights and interests still exist in China. The best way to resolve these problems is to firmly advance the political structural reform and build socialist democracy under the rule of law.

“We are committed to respecting and protecting human rights. Pursuant to the law, we protect the right of all members of society to equal participation and development.

“We will improve mechanisms for checking and supervising government powers so as to ensure that these powers entrusted by the people are exercised in people’s interests.

“To promote democracy, improve the legal system and strengthen effective oversight of power remains a long and arduous task for us.

“We need to create conditions for people to oversee and criticize the government to make the government live up to its responsibility and prevent corruption.

“With a keen sense of responsibility and democracy, people will spur social progress. The more the people participate in social management and public affairs, the greater the momentum there will be to sustain social progress.”

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