Western-style reform not on agenda, says CPPCC chief Yu Zhengsheng

New CPPCC chief Yu Zhengsheng tells delegates party will follow own path and shun 'extremist' ideas of change based on foreign models

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 12:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

China's new top political adviser has urged members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to reject "impetuous and extremist attitudes" in political ideas and said the ruling Communist Party would explore its own political path and shun reform based on Western models.

Yu Zhengsheng , who was elected CPPCC chairman on Monday, also called on his colleagues yesterday to reject "extravagance and not to be engaged in any deeds that use their power and influence to seek personal gain". The 68-year-old told them to be "outspoken and straightforward" in advising the government and to reject "indifference and listlessness" in their work.

"We should reject impetuousness and extremist attitudes that lose contact with national conditions," Yu said in his first speech since his election, addressing the closing session of the CPPCC's 11-day annual meeting.

"We need to more strictly follow the socialist path of political development with Chinese characteristics.

"We will not copy models in Western political systems under any circumstances, always adhere to the correct political orientation, and strengthen the CPPCC's ideological and political foundations of collective struggle," Yu told more than 2,000 CPPCC members in the Great Hall of the People.

He reiterated a long-standing party principle to the advisory body, urging it to "steadfastly uphold the leadership of the Communist Party and adhere to and improve the system of multiparty co-operation and political consultation under Communist Party leadership".

Professor Zhang Ming , a political scientist at Renmin University, said Yu had sent a message that the new leadership would continue to reject calls for bold reform of one-party rule.

We will not copy models in Western political systems under any circumstances

"His statement comes amid growing, louder calls for Western-style democratic reform and thus is sending a message that the leadership doesn't want any such bold action in the foreseeable future," Zhang said.

Zhang said the former Shanghai party chief had also sent a message to new CPPCC members, telling them not to advocate bold reform.

Yu built a reputation as a relatively open-minded economic reformer during his time in charge of Shanghai. His appointment as CPPCC chairman was expected following his promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee in November.

Yu called on members to study and try to "comprehensively and accurately understand" the spirit of a series of speeches by new party General Secretary Xi Jinping , who is set to succeed Hu Jintao as president this week.

Yu also praised his predecessor, Jia Qinglin , and all former members of the CPPCC for their contributions.