The Communist Party must adopt 'democratic methods' to resolve conflict among different social classes and interest groups, a legal scholar of the Communist Party School said. In an interview with the Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao, Professor Li Liangdong admitted the current political system was not perfect and that the party needed to promote democracy. 'Rejecting democracy is not possible. There is no other [solution] except democracy,' Professor Li was quoted as saying. However, he stressed that 'American-style democracy was incompatible with the national conditions of China'. The professor appeared to be responding to recent debates in China about the rise of elite classes such as private business people and intellectuals and the changing nature of the party. Many critics claim the party has lost touch with the underprivileged and can no longer claim to represent the proletariat. Professor Li said it was undeniable that society had become increasingly pluralistic. He said managers and jobless workers still belonged to the same social class but it was important for the party to recognise that they had different interests. But he was adamant it would be wrong to argue that the party must give up its monopoly of power in the face of rapid social changes, because the interests of the party and the 'broad mass' were the same. 'From a theoretical and logical standpoint, there are no differences or conflict between the party and the mass,' Professor Li said. 'But on a practical level, some governing methods and the leadership system of the Communist Party are at odds with [the principle] of letting the people be their own masters.' He suggested the party needed to study its relationship with the National People's Congress and how the party could keep its rank and file honest. Foreign critics have often criticised the NPC for being a rubber-stamp body, although it is China's highest law-making body under the constitution. However, the preamble of the constitution also states that the Communist Party has absolute leadership authority.