Apart from Mr Jiang, all three are members of the elite nine-member politburo standing committee that, in effect, rules the country. Seven of the current nine members are scheduled to step down at the 18th party congress.
One person with close family ties to this conservative faction said there was much disagreement and personal animosity between these leaders and Mr Wen – but also a recognition that something needed to be done to institutionalise power structures, which could lead to limited constitutional and political reforms.
“We need rules and institutions that define the limits of the game so that even when individuals leave the stage the entire structure continues to function,” this person said.More video
People familiar with Mr Wen’s thinking said he had become increasingly convinced that democratic reforms were needed to maintain social, economic and political stability. While the premier has said as much in numerous speeches to mostly western audiences, his definition of “democracy” has always appeared ambiguous and his ability to push through serious reforms limited.
These people say his goals include the gradual expansion of village elections to the national level and making the judiciary independent of the party.Page 4 of 6 | Prev Page | Next Page