China can learn from Vietnam, says writer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 July, 2006, 12:00am

China could learn from Vietnam's political reforms, according to an article published online by a prominent mainland writer yesterday.

Zhou Ruijin, a former deputy editor-in-chief of the People's Daily, said in the article - 'Vietnam's Reform Deserves our Attention' - that Vietnam's reforms had proved to be effective in an example of 'a student surpassing his teacher'.

'As Vietnam is heading boldly towards a road of comprehensive reforms, China has been bogged down in a mess of introspection and disputes,' he wrote.

Using his pen-name Huang Fuping, Mr Zhou said China's Communist Party could learn from its Vietnamese counterpart by strengthening the central committee's power to supervise the politburo and its secretariat.

He praised Vietnam's Communist Party for adopting a competitive election that allowed more than one candidate to compete for the position of general secretary. 'On this issue, isn't the gap between the Chinese Communist Party [and Vietnam's] rather big,' he asked.

'Since 2002, any central committee member of the Vietnamese Communist Party can demand answers from other members, including the general secretary, until they get a satisfactory answer. This applies to the politburo, secretariat of the central committee and the central commission for discipline inspection. But the Chinese Communist Party has yet to establish such a system.'

Mr Zhou's article is part of a growing chorus by reformers in the Communist Party disenchanted with leaders' lack of progress in pushing political reforms. Now retired, Mr Zhou caused a stir in February by publishing a commentary in Caijing magazine defending reforms and economic progress in the face of opposition from leftists.