A journalist at an official newspaper who is well-known for his articles about China's most disadvantaged, has called in an open letter for reform of the political system, saying it has become a matter of "extreme urgency," RFA's Mandarin service reports.

"This is not just related to the destiny of the Chinese Communist Party, but also to the prosperity and happiness of the Chinese people," Lu Yuegang, a journalist at the China Youth Daily newspaper, said in an open letter to the secretary of the standing committee of the Communist Youth League Zhao Yong.

Excerpt from "Remembering Zhao Ziyang" by Bao Tong Everyone knows what happened next. As soon as Zhao had left, Li made a report to Deng. And on a single word from Deng, the People�s Daily issued the editorial entitled "Against turmoil." And then the situation took a sudden turn for the worse ... Read more

The 1,300-word letter covered a wide variety of subjects, the Hong Kong-based Chinese language Ming Pao reported Wednesday, and included a reference to the bloody crackdown on student-led protesters by People's Liberation Army troops in June 1989.

Lu said he believed that the bloodshed was largely the result of a damaging editorial in the official Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily on April 26, 1989, entitled "The necessity for a clear stand against turmoil."

Without the editorial, which was broadcast on national radio and television denouncing the student movement as a "well-planned plot" to bring down the Communist Party, the situation would not have deteriorated to an unmanageable state, Lu wrote.

The editorial�which was published while the more moderate Party secretary Zhao Ziyang was on a state visit to North Korea�prompted a strong reaction among students, who demonstrated in their thousands across China against the harshness of its language.

Lu said that the ruling party should take the demands of its people seriously, because as soon as the production processes are halted by problems in their relationship, social conflict will be the inevitable result.

One of the signatories to a November 2003 open letter from Chinese scholars and intellectuals protesting at the government's control of the Internet, Lu said that the task of the reform of the political system had become an extremely urgent one. "This is not just related to the destiny of the Chinese Communist Party, but also to the prosperity and happiness of the Chinese people."

Lu, who has referred to himself as a "hooligan journalist" in the face of injustice, has worked on the cutting edge China Youth Daily since the mid 1980s. He is well-known for his coverage of ordinary people who seek redress for abuse suffered at the hands of government officials.####


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