Danish officials and scholars recently spoke highly of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s keynote speech marking the ruling party’s 90th anniversary, saying it reflected the party’s determination to tackle corruption, consolidate economic reforms and secure its future relevance.
“I think it is very urgent for the Communist Party of China (CPC), in order to stay in good contact with its people, to fight corruption and listen to ordinary people’s wishes for a better future,” said Mogens Lykketoft, first vice-chairman of the Danish parliament, foreign affairs spokesperson for Denmark’s Social Democratic Party and former Danish foreign minister.
“The president’s speech shows the leadership is well aware of this and hopefully, they will be successful in fighting corruption and including more ordinary citizens of China in decision making,” he told Xinhua on Sunday.
Hu, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, made a keynote speech at a grand gathering to mark the 90th founding anniversary of the CPC in Beijing on Friday, saying that the CPC will intensify its efforts to combat corruption, which is crucial to gaining popular support for the party and ensuring its very survival.
“He takes this very high profile opportunity to talk about anti-corruption which he has, of course, often talked about before, but this gives it special focus,” said Clemens Stubbe Oestergaard, Professor Emeritus in political science at Aarhus University and also a China expert.
“These are very strong words. I think this is good and is stronger than I anticipated,” commented Professor Verner Worm, director of the Copenhagen Business Confucius Institute at Copenhagen Business School.
“Hu talks of the (CPC’s) ability to resist corruption and degeneration… It is an extremely important and also very popular issue, which he approaches in this way,” Oestergaard said.
Hu’s speech shows “that the patience with corruption is very limited,” he added.
Worm agreed on this, saying: “It is a speech that will at least be heard and studied by party members all over China. In that sense, it will have an impact. But to say there will be no corruption after that is, of course, not correct.”
Oestergaard also said Hu “spends time on the need to improve the forms and channels of the party’s connections with the population”, on the “question of intra-party democracy” , and on young people.
The speech stressed “the importance of young people, and that is a good idea for a 90 year old party: to think of future generations,” Oestergaard said.
Worm said: “The party needs to have, and to focus on, talented people. This is… something that says it is a party for all Chinese people.”
Worm stressed that a very close connection with the people is extremely important to a party like the CPC, which is “much more inclusive in the sense that there are entrepreneurs, and so forth, who can be members.”
Both of the Danish scholars believed China’s highly successful economic reforms would remain the core of its developmental strategy for the years ahead.
Lykketoft believed securing the benefits of economic reforms would depend on beating corruption, social inequality and tensions, and protecting the environment.
“I think the relevance of the party and the ability to maintain its legitimacy of being the ruling party of China for a longer time in the future depends on solving those three major problems,” he noted.