Image credit: @spaceflattener.
A group of 73 prominent Chinese academics have issued an open letter to the country’s leaders warning that failure to respond to public pressure for political reform may lead to “violent revolution”.
“If reforms to the system urgently needed by Chinese society keep being frustrated and stagnate without progress, then official corruption and dissatisfaction in society will boil up to a crisis point and China will once again miss the opportunity for peaceful reform, and slip into the turbulence and chaos of violent revolution,” they wrote.
He Weifang, a law professor at Peking University and one of the signatories, told Reuters he believed the demands were rather moderate, but that now was the time to make them as President Hu Jintao prepared to hand over the reins of state power to Xi Jinping, who was made party chief in November.
About 65 Chinese academics, lawyers and human rights activists have signed a similar letter demanding top party members reveal their financial assets, saying it is the most fundamental way to end corruption.
“China’s 100 years of bloody and violent history – especially the painful and tragic lesson of the decade-long Cultural Revolution – show that once we go against the tide of democracy, human rights, rule of law and constitutional government, the people will suffer disaster and social and political stability will be impossible,” the letter said.