Late leader's son echoes father's reform call

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 12:00am


The son of late reformist leader Hu Yaobang has called for further, bold reform, indirectly expressing his discontent at the leadership's lack of reform initiatives.

In an interview to promote his book about his father, Hu Deping rejected the idea that China was enjoying a 'peaceful and prosperous time', saying he sees 'acute social contradictions' in the country despite its decades-long economic boom.

His father, the former Communist Party general secretary whose death in April 1989 helped spark the nationwide student-led pro-democracy movement that led to the army assault on Tiananmen Square on June 4 that year, was known for his liberal views and played a key role in China's opening up in 1980s. He was forced to resign in 1987 after arguing that political reforms should accompany China's economic opening.

Hu Deping appears to be using the book's publication to promote his father's political views, joining the increasing louder chorus for reform.

'Currently there are many emerging contradictions and they are acute. Thus it is too early to say that it [China] is in a time of peace and prosperity,' Hu Deping told the Youth Daily, an organ of the Communist Youth League. 'We need to push the reform further.'

President Hu Jintao has vowed to make China a more equitable country, ditching its growth-at-all-costs strategy in favour of a 'scientific concept of development' and a 'harmonious society'.

The new book, entitled Why China Wanted Reform - Remembering My Father Hu Yaobang, recalls the late reformist leader's views and ideological shifts toward reform.

Hu Deping said his book sought to answer three questions: why China wants reform; how reform should progress; and how to assess the current situation after 30 years of reform.

'I feel we should be seriously assessing such issues,' he said.

Hu Deping, a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's economic affairs sub-committee, expressed his discontent over lukewarm reform and criticised the continuation of state monopolies, the widening wealth gap and the ill treatment of farmers.

He questioned state-owned enterprises' monopolies on resources and criticised their use of taxpayers' money and their monopolies to make 'super profits' while returning little to the nation.

'The masses will of course ask whether those state-owned enterprises are owned by the whole people,' he said.

Hu Deping also expressed anger over the loss of land by many farmers without sufficient compensation.

'How could it go that half of the population gets rich and half of the population loses their production materials, as a result of hundreds of millions of farmers losing their land?' he asked.