By Ma Latang
China’s ruling Communist Party is mulling a series of political reform measures, including the reassessment of the 1989 Tiananmen student protests, multiple Hong Kong media outlets, including the Apple Daily have reported.
According to the rumours, China would move towards the Japanese model, placing the Communist Party as the dominant force but allowing the existence of different factions within the party so that they can act as a form of check and balance on each other and on the party itself.
Although it is widely perceived that factions already exist within the Central Committee, any internal conflict within the Party is highly sensitive and hidden behind the curtains, while a show of unity is always displayed to the outside world.
Earlier this month, UK-based Financial Times also reported that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao appeared to be laying the groundwork for a reassessment of the Tiananmen protests but faced severe opposition from some of his colleagues, including recently sacked Bo Xilai whose father supported the massacre.
Since the Wang Lijun saga, a series of surprising changes have taken place in China’s political arena, which some have said may be a harbinger of political reform.
During his last appearance at the NPC press conference as prime minister, Wen Jiabao called for political reform to prevent another Cultural Revolution from happening again.
A day later, Bo Xilai, the former Chongqing party chief and one of the most prominent leftists, was sacked.
Censorship on keywords related to the Tiananmen protests were also said to have been lifted for a short time, with pictures about the incident available on Baidu.
Online activities to remember Zhao Ziyang, a senior party official sacked and put under house arrest for his tolerance towards protesting students, were also tacitly permitted by Chinese authorities.