Editor's Note: Elizabeth C. Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, is an expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy, and U.S.-China relations. She blogs at Asia Unbound.
By Elizabeth C. Economy, CFR.org
The political brouhaha over Bo Xilai’s ouster as Chongqing Party Secretary continues to reverberate throughout China’s political system. Most notable is an effort at the top by Premier Wen Jiabao to capitalize on the moment by trying to once again energize his reform agenda.
First, at a press conference following the conclusion of the National People’s Congress in mid March, Wen commented, “Now reforms in China have come to a critical stage…without a successful political reform, it’s impossible for China to fully institute economic reform and the gains we have made in these areas may be lost, and new problems that popped up in the Chinese society will not be fundamentally resolved…the reform can only go forward and must not stand still, less go backwards because that offers no way out.” He added that the desire for democracy in the Middle East had to be “respected and truly responded to.” FULL POST