Chinese president Hu Jintao has criticised the Communist Party he leads at the opening of the party’s 17th congress. Speaking at the start of the week-long conference, he said, while its achievements should be recognised, they had fallen short of people’s expectations.
And he laid into Party leaders who abuse their positions: “Some grassroots entities are weak and disorganised. Certain Party members and officials don’t behave properly. Formalities and bureaucracy are big problems. Extravagance, lavishness, negativity and corruption are still serious problems.”
Hu talked about moves to make the Party more accountable but made it quite clear it would continue to maintain its monopoly on power. The tight security, with rings of police stopping ordinary people from getting anywhere near the delegates, underscored how wary Hu and his colleagues are of any challenge to their one-party rule.