The Government has been urged to speed up political reforms by an article that has split Beijing's top thinkers. The piece, 'Civilisation's Deterioration and Deteriorated Civilisation', was written by an unknown author last December but has only recently been circulated among Beijing cadres and liberals. It urges China's leaders to abandon their 'saviour' style of leadership and bring in political reforms. The article says: 'The party has forgotten its promise of liberalising thoughts and democratisation. 'However, nothing can stop China from modernisation, democratisation, liberalisation and legalisation.' The author used the pseudonym Shangguan Yanqing. Although political reform is not on the official agenda of the 15th Communist Party Congress this autumn, sources among the capital's intellectual circle said the article had rekindled the debate. The article says leaders must press ahead to reform the political hierarchy. Changes like separation of the state and the Communist Party were shelved after the 1989 crackdown, it says. 'Mere emphasis on economic strength and stability will only result in the rise of a new autocratic ruling syndicate, a new bourgeois class with special privileges, and a new clique,' says the article. Sources in Beijing said other intellectuals also hoped for faster changes. A reporter in Hainan province recently wrote to Communist Party General Secretary Jiang Zemin urging him to push forward political reforms. But the country's leaders were still reluctant to commit themselves, according to the sources.