Chinese scholars push for mild political reform
BEIJING (AP) - More than 70 prominent Chinese scholars and lawyers have urged new Communist Party leaders to undertake moderate political reforms including separating the party from government, though they avoid any mention of ending one-party rule.
The petition drafted by Peking University law professor Zhang Qianfan calls on the party to rule according to the constitution, protect freedom of speech, encourage private enterprise and allow for an independent judicial system. It calls for the people to be able to elect their own representatives, without interference from the Communist Party.
Prof Zhang said there is an urgent need for change to better address the myriad and widespread problems the country faces, such as social inequity, abuse of government powers and corruption.
"China runs the risk of revolution and chaos if it does not change," Prof Zhang said.