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Links 1 through 3 of 3 by David Bandurski tagged political reform

In a report today, the official China News Service reviews the discussion in China over the need for fairer income distribution (policies to support the lower and middle classes), pointing out that pending plans for income distribution have been touted every year since 2004, always fizzling. Meanwhile, income disparity in China has continued to rise. According to the China News Service report, the wealth of the wealthiest 10% of Chinese in 1988 was 7.3 times that of the poorest 10%. In 2010, Wang Xiaolu (王小鲁), the deputy head of the China Reform Foundation's National Economic Research Institute (NERI), said that per capita income among the wealthiest 10% of Chinese families was 65 times greater than that of the poorest 10% of families.

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In an interview published by China Economic Weekly, a spin-off publication of the CCP's official People's Daily, Chinese economist Wu Jinglian (吴敬琏) argues that China must pursue political reform in order to have continued economic success. In the interview, promoted to the news page at QQ.com today, Wu says: "Aside from economic reform, the urgent task is to remove interference by special interests, renewing the reform agenda -- pushing forward with economic reforms through marketization (市场化的经济改革) and political reform through democratization and rule of law."

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Two opinion pieces do not make for a trend, but it is interesting to not that the Chinese-language Global Times newspaper, which has a reputation for conservatism and nationalistic saber-rattling, has recently run pieces by both Peng Xiaoyun (彭晓芸) and Guo Yukuan (郭于宽) -- veteran journalists at the liberal end of China's political spectrum. In an opinion piece in the Global Times today, Peng writes about the potential of microblogs in China as a platform allowing for greater discussion of public affairs, a necessary preparation of the public for democratic reforms. The headline of Peng's piece at QQ.com reads: "Let Public Debate Become an Exercise for Democracy."

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